Sydney burns as carbon price goes

Large_bonfire

From the SMH:

A senior United Nations climate change official says there is ”absolutely” a link between climate change and bushfires and has warned that the Coalition government will pay a high political and financial price for its decision scrap carbon pricing.

In an interview with CNN’s Christine Amanpour on Monday, the head of the UN’s climate change negotiations, Christiana Figueres, said there was a clear link between climate change and bushfires such as those raging in New South Wales.

She noted that the World Meteorological Organisation had not yet established a direct link between the NSW fires and climate change.

“But what is absolutely clear is the science is telling us that there are increasing heat waves in Asia, Europe, and Australia; that these will continue; that they will continue in their intensity and in their frequency,” Ms Figueres said.

The highly unusual intervention by a senior UN official in a domestic climate policy debate comes three weeks before the next major round of UN-sponsored talks in Warsaw. The negotiations are aiming to reach a global climate treaty by 2015 that would take effect by 2020.

Ms Figueres described the NSW fires as an ”example of what we may be looking at unless we take actually vigorous action”.

The UN negotiator said the new Abbott government had chosen a more difficult and expensive path to emissions reduction than the previous Gillard government – noting that the Coalition had not stepped away from Australia’s commitment to reduce its emissions by 5 per cent by 2020.

It may be human nature but there’s not much point connecting one-off events like this and my sympathies go out to the affected.

In terms of the climate change argument it is the accumulation of evidence that matters. But it does go to show the extent to which the scrapping of the carbon price has symbolic resonances around the world. Pollies everywhere will look at Australia’s experience and think “nope”.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)

Comments

  1. The more often these ‘one-off’ events occur, the less you should be able to keep a straight face while you call them that.

    • We’ve had 3 hundred year floods for the last 3 years here.(in Qld)
      I saw a person interviewed who said she had survived all 5 of the last bush fires which went through her area.
      How can you keep a straight face when people tell you that. This is not related to global warming, it is non existent risk management at work.WW

      • Risk management? Who needs that? Just buy some CDS on insurance coverage and your set mate!

        I have seen a strong correlation between house price rises and weather events the last 10 years so that problem is clearly high re prices right? No one can argue this clear evidence

      • “….We’ve had 3 hundred year floods for the last 3 years here.(in Qld)….”

        Yeah, and the climate experts who tell us mankind is cooking the planet had told the government at all levels not to bother with flooding risk, because global warming meant it wasn’t going to happen again.

      • Phibest, flooding is a predictable consequence of AGW. With every degree we warm, the atmosphere carries 7% more moisture, and that means more precipitation (rain and snow).

        Basically, the hydrological cycle is intensifying.

        If you want references to papers to back this up, just ask.

      • So why no flood control measures in QLD then? Why the years of opposition to “unnecessary” earthworks from every Greenie from activists to bureaucrats to the QLD Labour government of many years (hostages to the Greens due to the voting system and backdoor deals)?

        And I stand by what I say – the climate experts had NOT predicted “hydrological effects” to cause more floods in QLD. Problem is they say things that can then be used as evidence whatever happens. A long absence of floods in QLD would have been trumpeted as “evidence of global warming” too.

        If it ain’t “falsifiable”, it ain’t science.

        None of this QLD “evidence” means it is anthropogenic rather than natural, mind you.

        I say “adaption” has always made sense. That means building dams where there are likely to be floods, and forget political arguments about whether or not human influence on weather is meant to cause floods or cause floods to not happen anymore.

    • FWIW, my view…

      The idea that you can’t discuss climate change during a bushfire crisis is very reminiscent of the NRA’s argument that you can’t discuss gun control after a mass shooting.

      • Exactly, Lorax. Bandt was only stating the obvious, and what many people are thinking.

        The ludicrous faux outrage at his statements was drummed up by the denierosphere and conservatives generally.

    • Tassie TomMEMBER

      The Eastern fall of NSW had an average rainfall March to June after a wet summer, and then a dry July onwards.

      Nothing unusual about that. This is what the Eastern fall does, and why Australia is stereotypically so unreliable for cropping. In fact, it is why the Hunter Valley was settled in the first place (feeding Sydney, plus supplying coal).

      What was unusual was the record warm winter. If the Earth hadn’t already warmed, it would have been a warm winter, but not a record.

      This means more grass growing (warm weather), and more soil moisture evapotranspiring from the grass and trees.

      Now we have the unusual situation that in mid-October, when the spring fronts come through and do their unpredictable stuff, the grass is dry and the leaves and bark are crisp.

      Bushfires are common here in October, but not the really nasty ones, they are usually saved for late November or December, before the summer rains (hopefully) come, and after the fickle spring fronts have moved further south.

      I think Adam Bandt’s comments were very appropriate, and brave given the completely predictable response that followed.

  2. Meanwhile, geologists kick back and laugh. Life thrives during warm periods, but suffers a bit during colder periods. I guess some people don’t take the long view.

    • Geologists are looking at warm periods tens of millions of years ago before homo sapiens existed. Remember its the climate stability since the last ice age that allowed the establishment of agriculture and civilization.

      In the long term life will adapt but in the short term our civilization will find it very difficult.

      • Climate change throughout history has led to mass extinctions. Of course some survive and I have no doubt that humans will adapt. But the impact, particularly on the world’s poorest, will be devastating.

      • It was warmer in the Medieval Warm Period. The people who say it wasn’t are the real inheritors of the “denier” tradition.

        The latest IPCC Report, main body thereof, admits this. The Summary for Policy Makers does not.

        The former actually was prepared by thousands of scientists. The latter; by a small cabal.

        This is out in the open now, if you still believe in the IPCC you are beyond help.

      • Can MB hand out a dunce award for the first idiot to mention the Medieval Warm Period on a climate change thread? I suspect PhilBest from New Zealand will be a multi-award winner.

      • Someone is an “idiot” for mentioning the Medieval Warm Period in a discussion on climate change????

        Is this science or totalitarian politics????

      • I must mention that my knowledge of the MWP from the point of view of history, is what made me a skeptic from the moment the IPCC pooh-bahs started claiming it never happened.

        I don’t care what some scientists say some cherry-picked tree ring or ice core data says; I say that there is an abundance of “historical” records to support the MWP and none whatsoever to support the shameless revisionist claim that it never happened. This is what deserves the title, “denier”.

        Where glaciers were at a given time period. Which sea passages were open. Where certain crops could be grown, and their yields. The limit of sea ice packs. Which mountain passes were open. Historical records from Europe, China, Korea, and Middle Eastern scholars. Historical records from exploration far from record-keeping societies.

        Someone comes along with fancy theories that all this is invalid, that smells very much to me like a certain D. Irving’s approach. Then the formulators of the fancy theories have the gall to call the people who are skeptical of their fancy theories, “deniers”…!! This is like D. Irving calling the mainstream historians who accept all the evidence, “deniers”!!

  3. This view hangs very much on the premise that what Australia does matters in a C02 context.

    Our C02 emissions are negligible on a global stage

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions

    We would be showing much greater integrity to any GHG position by just exporting less carbon energy.

    For what it’s worth, some may want to consider that ecological destruction and fishery destruction are much more pressing matters:

    http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1848433/the-ocean-is-broken/

    • Yes but we are the world’s largest coal exporter. We make a very significant contribution to global GHG emissions indirectly via coal exports.

      Have you read The Unnatural History of the Sea by Callum Roberts?

      • That was my point L – it’s just sheer hypocrisy to talk about carbon taxes etc while exporting vast swathes of coal and gas.

        No i haven’t – i found Moby Dick to be a depressing read – that might send me into despair.

    • The biggest impact of carbon pricing is that it encourages investment in renewable energy technologies. Australia should be leading the world in this as there is no other country in as strong a position to drive this industry, but scrapping pricing will shut it down.

      Forward-looking businesses and the energy industry should be screaming about this.

      • An alternative view is that it just shuts down existing businesses that would be moving in this direction anyway whist being gamed by the top tier advisory and investment banks.

        Like all these things it’s good in theory but we don’t have the strength and integrity in our regulatory structures to pull it off. Most of the support comes from people who have no experience working in these sectors and don’t understand the existing gaming of the system.

        Australia should have some of the cheapest energy in the world – instead we are just offshoring our carbon emissions, something that will continue under a carbon scheme or carbon tax.

        Much better to export less coal and gas and have cheaper energy in Australia.

      • The OECD (acronym now for Organisation for Ejeets and Capital Destruction) has recently opined on the risk potential ‘stranded assets’ in a carbon-entangled world may pose to oil/gas/coal energy producers.

        Will not at all be surprised to see this start a blowback from relevant parties and we see momentum build and serious challenge engaged to negate the growing alarmism and inherent economic threat.

        http://www.cnbc.com/id/101120966

      • 3d – resources co.s (after the finance houses) are the most wealthy organisations on earth.

        Which is precisely why they pay chaps like you to run interference through astroturfing on these issues. Of course someone like you (representing the 80% foreign owned mining industry in Australia) is going to say that.

      • Anything that Goldman Sachs is as up to its eyeballs in as carbon trading scheme advocacy, I suggest needs a large dose of skepticism and due diligence from a trustworthy public watchdog.

        “The Great American Bubble Machine” by Matt Taibbi is a tour de force of informative journalism.

  4. “…there is ”absolutely” a link between climate change and bushfires…”

    Is the link that bushfires reduce the number of carbon dioxide absorbing trees? 🙂

  5. There is a link between green policies and bushfires.

    But not the one Adam Bandt is trying to make.

    Green tape preventing back-burning and clearing of fuel from your own properties contributed to the Victorian bushfires a few years ago, and the CSIRO agree that allowing people to clear trees and leaves from their property would have reduced the intensity of the fires.

      • Legitimate question. Those sensitive enough may be impacted by rising temperatures. Become less able to control their impulses or find themselves stressed by the heat. Next thing they’re lighting fires to relieve tension.

        We don’t know where we’re heading.

  6. What is resonating at present are the shrill cries of ‘warning warning global warming’ spouting from the throat of every activist in reaction to every natural weather or disaster event that occurs.

    The less connected the event the more vociferous the cries. A disgrace, as was Bandt’s opportunistic insensitive tweet. Good to see HnH’s sensibly reject such extremism.

    • Spare us the political correctness.

      You’ll find most of the people immediately affected are supportive of Bandt raising the issue. I have close ties to several people who have lost their houses over the past week and they are all talking about this.

      Anything that can prevent these sorts of things happening more frequently is something worth discussing.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Yes DT, same thing has happened in Queensland now that the extreme events are coming harder and faster. Folk who lose their homes and livelihoods have plenty of dark times to wonder why.

      • Bandt has demonstrated a Hanson Young proclivity to rashly utter thoughtless demagoguery. An embarrassment.

        Bushfires are unfortunately not uncommon in Australia, generally seasonal in nature, sometimes blamed on wet winters building undergrowth fuel, sometimes dry inland winds exacerbating small fires to large, sometimes a falling electricity pole, sometimes kids with matches or individuals with pyromaniac tendencies.

        Bandt would have better served those affected by calling his legion of Twits to donate blankets, receivable at his electorate office, ideally burying him beneathso he could experience a little warming humility.

        http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/comment.html?entrynum=207

      • +1 DT

        Of the 50 or so major bushfires since 1851, over half have occurred in the last 20 years. Whilst the cause of a lot of fires are due to human involvement, the folks on the ground will be the first to tell you that the frequency and intensity of weather conditions that fuel these fires is what concerns them most.

    • People are hard wired to try and link cause and effect, shutting down discussion serves no purpose (and smacks of a vested interest).

      You may recall that Hanson’s opinions were treated with the distain they deserved and she was otherwise unremarkable until idiots from the Labor left tried to shut her down (throwing urine etc) and so creating a public identity tied to a backlash to the intellectual left where none had been.

    • (Putting on my best 3d1k/GSM imitation)

      On a related note, union thugs intimidate voters and cause a 27% swing to Labor in the Miranda by-election -> Link to article

      PS: The problem with that fake narrative is that the union thugs are fire fighters protesting station closures at a time when bush fires are increasing! Be afraid..3d1k.. be very afraid – your PR spin may not work anymore.

    • Where exactly did he “reject such extremism”?

      Why are we allowed to talk about clearing fuel around houses, and regulations regarding building near the bush — both legitimate concerns — but we’re not allowed to talk about climate change? Is it because climate change is now a “political” issue and not a scientific one?

      Similarly, after a mass shooting in the US, the NRA says its ok to talk about mental health and violent video games, but its not ok to talk about gun control.

      It doesn’t matter what the issue, the lunar right wants to shut down the debate on the grounds that the timing might be “inappropriate”. There’s never a good time is there?

      • Come on, why do enviro types mouth on about “the precautionary principle” when it comes to CAGW, but the local tree-hugger Gestapo won’t allow controlled burnoffs in winter, bulldozing firebreaks, clearing of fuel buildup, bulldozing of growth around houses and roads, the planting of non-native species that do not burn like the blazes, etc etc?

        There most definitely needs to be a backlash.

      • I don’t have a problem at all with winter fuel reduction burns or creating firebreaks. My house backs onto the bush and I created a firebreak myself, as well as planting a buffer of rainforest species to retard the flames.

        Why is it the loony right demand that we not mention climate change whenever there’s a weather-related catastrophe? I mean, we can’t shut you up about the “great climate hoax” if we have a cold, wet winter!

  7. UN says there is a clear link.

    The Washington Post has stated it will no longer publish letters from climate change deniers….

    When will our illustrious leaders pull their heads out of the sand on this one?

    • True Bubbley?

      I’ll probably be dead before gravity sees me land on one side of this fence or the other. What you wrote is an example of why.

      Our local rag has had polarised hysterical zealots from both sides ranting on for years already – never finding common ground to work from, never seeing the others POV…… I don’t think they’re as informed as they’d like to portray, but at least they both get their say – as the rest of the town just glazes over.

    • “UN” as in a cabal of talking heads. “The IPCC Report” – main body thereof, actually contributed to by the thousands of scientists, says no such thing.

      It is not hard to find information on all this. If you must stick to “the P.C. approved sources”, you aren’t going to know.

      • “If you must stick to “the P.C. approved sources”, you aren’t going to know”.

        Dissapointingly True Phil!

  8. My god, did everyone swap their brains for lumps of rock.

    The greens / council are the enemy here, if they actually let people clear trees off their land then houses would not so at risk.

    It does not matter if you live in a forest because of the massive cost of a house any near the city, if you can clear the trees away you can reduce the fire risk!

    Also if you can access the national parks and create the fire breaks that are required then these fires do not spread as quickly or as far!

    Australia’s emissions compared to the rest of the world, are like saying you can piss in the ocean and cause it to warm!

    • I’m sympathetic to the view that people should be allowed to clear eucalypts, which are oily, fire-prone trees, and replace them with (gasp!) exotic trees that are not.

    • dumb_non_economist

      AF,

      You’d better be prepared to allow clearing around a house for a considerable distance. Have a look at the intensity of these fires and clearing just around the house isn’t going to achieve anything.

      • Nonsense. Radiated heat is inversely proportional to the square of distance. If the fuel is 20m from the house then radiated heat will not set the house on fire. Flying embers still pose a danger.

      • Planting wide belts of species of trees other than Eucalyptus Gum dynamite would help too. These have proved useful for many communities.

        But the local eco-Taleban won’t allow it in some of the most risk-prone areas.

    • + 100 to AF and all the others who don’t have rocks for brains.

      “….The greens / council are the enemy here….”

      They ban controlled burnoffs in winter, the planting of non-native species, sensible clearing of trees, etc etc in the name of Gaia Earth Mother religious purity, then they have the brazen effrontery to say that a surge in calamitous bushfires is evidence of global warming…..!!!!!

  9. So far we have had 0.8 degrees of warming. Compare this with typical inland Australia diurnal variation of 20 degrees and upwards and it is obvious that the meme “global warming = more bushfires” is a bit short in the leg.

    In fact the recent IPCC report concluded that there is insufficient evidence to attribute any natural disasters to global warming. In many categories, such as hurricanes, the number of serious events has gone down.

    Bushfires are a fact of life in Australia and are always caused by a combination of high fuel loads, hot, dry conditions and high winds. Conditions fairly common in the Australian summer.

    The main influence of global warming is supposed to be on overnight minimums, not maximums, with evidence so far bearing that out.

    Nevertheless, continuing to burn fossil fuel willy-nilly is not such a great idea. Bring on the real alternatives, such as Gen IV nuclear.

    • Your last paragraph presents an interesting idea that I think we do not talk about enough. Climate aside, the fact that we keep burning finite resources is surely enough to prompt us to look for something else.

      While I know the technology has become substantially safer, selling nuclear to the population is going to be a hell of a job.

      • Yes but we’d rather have an NBN than try to do research and lead the world on alternatives such as Thorium. Everyone keeps talking about how we can lead the world yet our education system s anti-science,anti-engineering, our economic system, if you can call it that, is anti-science. Our media is anti-science. We get a lot of clap-trap about how the science is settled. Like there is only one possible opinion and it’s yours! FWIW yes I’d personally agree that the world ios warming. Just what the cause is is another matter altogether. Are we contributing? It seems so but it might be so minor as not to matter. Within that Aus does not matter at all.

        For all the genii in here who just want to ban coal exports you are willing to take the hit financially for the gap it will leave. I mean the real financial hit not some BS that just says oh well we will borrow the difference! If you answer yes you do so because you don’t understand the economic the parlous situation we already in and you don’t understand hit this country would take.

        It seems we are to ignore all the more very direct and measurable data, all the responses we can rationally make, on this bushfire problem in order for us all to worship at the altar of the Green Climate Change agenda!

        Baloney!

      • I think you will find fl. that many of the young here have no access to our massive private debt machine – that is restricted to boomers buying houses of each other. So what exactly is that hit they will take?

        As far as i can see, the only one saying export less coal here is me, and what i’m really saying is if we agree that we should reduce emissions then this should come from exports or raw materials not from our productive economy.

        Australia should have some of the cheapest energy in the world.

      • Aj we have some of the highest wages in the world and a serious regulatory burden to boot. So yes, we sit on a rock gloriously blessed with mineral wealth but it costs a packet to exploit these resources and build the infrastructure to deliver it cheaply.

      • dumb_non_economist

        Flawse,

        You claim society is anti-science, yet you basically are yourself, if it doesn’t agree with your views.

        Quote: We get a lot of clap-trap about how the science is settled. Like there is only one possible opinion and it’s yours!

        Well, came you name a recognised body that disputes the science?

        Quote: Are we contributing? It seems so but it might be so minor as not to matter. Within that Aus does not matter at all.

        Well, the BoM, CSIRO, Chief Gov Scientist, NASA, NOAA etc seem to think we do. Again, any recognised body to dispute this?

        I’ll answer that for you, NO. Whenever I ask that question here it NEVER receives an answer, because there isn’t ONE recognised body that disputes the science, the comeback for that is conspiracy, snouts in trough response and those same people will go on about the lack of respect for science etc. Bloody hypocritical if you ask me!

        I don’t dispute your comments about the economic hit if we stopped exporting coal, just your double standards re science.

      • Dr John Theon, in 2008:

        “I worked as the head of the NASA Weather and Climate Program which included up to 300 scientists in NASA, in academia, and in the private sector… Jim Hansen had… some very powerful political friends. Al Gore was a Senator… and subsequently became Vice President of the US. Now there isn’t too much a NASA person can do when he’s up against that kind of a challenge… In the early ’90’s I realized the whole thing was a great big fraud… Recent developments have convinced me that it is my duty to speak out, and to help educate the public about what we’re going to get into if we don’t stop this nonsense”.

      • Alex, we’ve had measurable warming.

        The fact that Australia has diurnal variability (some days are hotter than others, and days are hotter than nights) is utterly irrelevant.

        It means that cold days (and nights) are on average slightly warmer than before. Hot days (and nights) too.

        It means more evaporation, less rain, drier bush, more fires.

      • “the average spring temperature at Walden Pond has increased about 6 degrees Fahrenheit (3.4 degrees Celsius) since Thoreau’s time.”

        Quite so. Some places have warmed more than the global average, others less. Some have got colder. I don’t know of any scientists who say the (global) average is not 0.8 degrees or thereabouts. If you have a source that says otherwise, please specify.

      • “The fact that Australia has diurnal variability (some days are hotter than others, and days are hotter than nights) is utterly irrelevant.”

        Diurnal range has nothing to do with some days being hotter than others. It is the range between minimum and maximum on a particular day.

        Plants and animals that are adapted to climate with extreme diurnal ranges(or, for that matter, extreme seasonal ranges – also experienced in much of inland Australia) are unlikely to be affected by small increases in average temperature. That is the relevance.

    • Alex: “Bushfires are a fact of life in Australia and are always caused by a combination of high fuel loads, hot, dry conditions and high winds. Conditions fairly common in the Australian summer.”

      Newsflash.

      It’s not summer.

      We’re halfway through Spring.

      • Amazing! I would never have noticed without your telling me!

        And? I said such conditions were common in summer, not that they were impossible in spring.

  10. “…there is ”absolutely” a link between climate change and bushfires..”

    There may be? But if it’s so absolute, what is it?

    “She noted that the World Meteorological Organisation had not yet established a direct link between the NSW fires and climate change”.

    If this is a Senior UN Official at her backflipping best, no wonder people are poking holes in warmists arguments.

      • That’s obvious enough. It happens most summers I can remember, & I just read further up it’s happening more often.

        But using strong wording like ‘absolutely’ without having anything of substance to back up her claim doesn’t help her credibility.

        At least, it’s not a word I’d use unless I could back it up with tangible, empirical evidence.

      • Nudge, you can’t accept evolution then either, because there is no absolutely complete fossil record of human evolution. Maybe we were created by God 6000 years ago then, eh?

        🙄

      • Nice R2M 🙂
        You know pragmatism is where I lean. So there has to be tradeoffs & an evolution to the right path.

        It’s the pointless polarization & hysterics that disappoints – insulting & out shouting each other will ensure nothing happens.

        If Christiana Figueres states she is an absolutist, she must be absolutely right – with the facts! Not in the next breath say that “the WMO had not yet established a direct link between the NSW fires and climate change”. Sowing seeds of doubt certainly undermines her absolutist stance – for now.

        Is that not a polarising mixed message? Can that not be grabbed by either eye? Typical politician speaking out both sides of her mouth I’d say!

        BTW – Maybe you could tell me how complete the fossil record is compared to the still evolving Agw evidence?

      • Why would it be “unscientific” to wish for a credible fossil record as a condition of being convinced by evolution?

        After all, if climate science can tell what the climate was doing going back eons due to geologic records, why would there be fossils that are meant to be there, completely missing? Especially given that it would have taken eons for one creature to evolve into the next. Missing “eons” of records means we can’t really trust anything anyone tries to tell us about the past, all of it must be surmise.

    • It is essentially true that everything is connected to everything else. So yes, there is a link between X and Y.

  11. If we pegged our CO2 emissions to the amount the rent seekers and global left wing elitists that are the U.N., receive from Australia, I’m sure they would find an equally spurious argument for us to burn more coal. Call me a cynic.

  12. So people choose to live amongst the beauty of trees or adjoining bush and nature reserves or close by National Parks. They also choose to have lots of trees on their property close by their house.

    It’s pretty clear the build up of debris after several seasons of heavy rains (which the alarmists like Bandt warned us would never come again) was not sufficiently cleared so that when the inevitable bushfires started, there would be plenty of fuel to consume. NONE of this is remotely connected to the theory of Climate Change from AGW. It is connected with poor management of Urban Living and Planning and fire risk management.

    The Greens do not need to be in Govt to cause havoc and weave their brand of commonsense crushing beauracracy. Greens are well embedded in Councils where the bulk of these fire control activities are buried in approvals and compliance green tape.

    • Let’s not be distracted by this global warming talk.
      With bushfires the issues are well known. Reduce fuel, clear around houses, allow regular burning-off. Cover cinder traps. Shield windows. Build using appropriate design and materials. Have an escape plan. Have appropriate clothes and fire-fighting gear ready.

    • So true, look at the Vic town where every house burnt down bar one where the owners had chopped the trees down near their house and copped a 20K fine for it.

      Problem is that there is no recourse, why are we not calling for the greens and councils heads over their refusal to allow trees to be cut back and fuel reduction burns and more fire roads.

      It is about time the green brigade got the boot!

    • Glad to see a good percentage of Aussies awake to this now, if MB contributors are anything to go by.

      Australian authorities arsonists: Germaine Greer

      February 13, 2009

      http://www.smh.com.au/environment/australian-authorities-arsonists-germaine-greer-20090213-86h7.html

      “….Professor Greer said it was time that global warming, arson and all the other excuses for bushfires were set aside and the lessons of nature learned.
      She said the failure accept that fire is an intrinsic feature of eucalypt bushland would ensure that tragedy will occur and re-occur.
      “It can’t be prevented but it can be managed … until there is a fundamental change of policy across all levels of government in Australia, there will be more and worse fires and more deaths, she said.
      “I was born in 1939 and Melbourne was under black clouds of smoke with cinders sifting down everywhere and we were already there on Black Friday,” she said.
      Professor Greer, who spends one third of her year rehabilitating and working on a 65-hectare remnant of forest in Queensland, said she too is often anxious about the risk of fire.
      “We get taught the same lesson again and again and we just think [burning] oh no, that’s a bit drastic.
      “No, it’s not a bit drastic, we have to do it … but it’s the same old story and we need to educate people and we have to have a bit of courage and we need somebody to direct it all.
      “It’s useless running around looking for arsonists. The arsonists are us.
      “They are our government and our administrators. We have been stupid.”
      Professor Greer said that continuing construction of housing in bushland areas meant that fire management must be mandatory.
      “Nobody buys a house in a wonderful green forested area expecting it to be burnt. And sure, if it is burnt every five years, then you will have six months maybe where it all looks a bit rubbish.
      “But you will also get all the orchids and all the rare wildflowers popping up out of the ground .. all you need do is turn people’s heads around a bit,” she said…..”

  13. lochnessmonster

    The majority of people I know are just see this AGW theory and carbon tax as a money grab by rent seekers. Which is a rational view. There have been so many lies told about AGW, they have discredited themselves thoroughly.

  14. “there was a clear link between climate change and bushfires such as those raging in New South Wales” says Ms Figueras. What science? By whom? I thought the IPCC recently released a report saying that no such link could yet be established. And no wonder. Australia shows strong evidence of a land shaped by fire over millenia. Long before anybody even thought of global warming.

    Fires of extreme intensity don’t happen often enough for us to be certain of the normal frequency.

    • desmodromicMEMBER

      “Wonder what form of global capitalism caused its deforestation, eh?”

      Agrarian socialists driving bulldozers connected by a chain.

      The rest is just ignorant and wrong.

    • DT, I think the problem is that one of the moderators is a “skeptic”, to put it politely. I won’t name names.

      Mod: you have before R2M and that’s why you were banned. So try again R2M. The offensive post has been removed, can’t read every single tired, repeated rant most of you – both “skeptics” and “beliebers” go on and on and on about in the climate change threads. I get there eventually.

  15. lochnessmonster

    DT, AGW is a conspiracy but it’s not a rediculous conspiracy theory to acknowledge that. I could give you many quotes, quotes like this one from The First Global Revbolution, “In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill…. etc
    Yes people are proud of their abilities to deceive the naive.
    I am not so against some of the political objectives you know but it’s the means by which we achieve things. Why can’t we stick to the truth?
    As for conspiracy itself it is a constant in human history, not that there aren’t paranoid types believing in irrational ideas. But men have been subverting anything and everything in search of material power since we began. Our current crop of leaders have not reached infallibility.

    • Whatever. I’m over the bullshit from the ignorant commenters on this site. You’ve turned a really good website into a loony pond dominated by stupidity and denial.

  16. How timely that Edmund Capon, in his program on Australian art, reminded us tonight of Black Thursday, in Victoria in February 1851. A quarter of the entire state was burnt out in one day. A ship 20 miles offshore was showered with burning embers. One million sheep died.

    Puts the current bushfires into perspective.

  17. I do not know enough about global warming to make an intelligent comment, so I just pose one question;

    Warren Buffett mentioned global warming in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders as early as 1992 in relation to his insurance businesses. You can bet that insurance industries have a bunch of experts whose jobs are modelling relevant risks. Why do not we hear more about global warming (or scare campaigns) from insurance industries, given that it would be their interest to jack up insurance premiums to boost their profit margins if they can find any plausible excuses?

  18. You guys are now confusing me.

    When the earth warms, the saturation vapour pressure of water increases, so the atmosphere can hold more moisture.

    So far so good. Then what happens? Does this lead to more or less rainfalls?

    R2M thinks more evaporation will lead to more rains and hence more floods.
    http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2013/10/sydney-burns-as-carbon-price-goes/#comment-289818

    Arrow2 thinks more evaporation will lead to less rains and hence more bush fires.
    http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2013/10/sydney-burns-as-carbon-price-goes/#comment-289797

    I know that climate is complex, but still, one cannot have it both ways, I would have thought?