Does scum burn?

Via The Australian comes scum of all colour and hue:

Senior Coalition and Labor MPs have launched a bitter attack on the Greens for suggesting climate change policies are responsible for the catastrophic bushfire threat confronting NSW and Queensland.

As firefighters braced for the arrival of high winds and low ­humidity that threaten some of the worst conditions seen since the Black Saturday bushfires a decade ago, Greens leader Richard Di ­Natale sparked fury from both major parties when he said the ­nation’s emissions policy had caused the fires that killed three people and injured 100.

Senior Nationals turned the ­attack back on the Greens, suggesting that environmental opposition to backburning, particularly in national parks, had exacerbated the bushfire threat.

…Federal Labor agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon, who is facing fire threats in his NSW seat of Hunter, lashed the Greens for politicising the catastrophe.

Mr Fitzgibbon said it was ­“absolutely the wrong time to be looking for political opportunity and it’s also hypocritical given the Greens opposed the CPRS (the Rudd government’s carbon pollution reduction scheme)”.

“But if Scott Morrison wasn’t sitting back and allowing emissions to increase every year there would be less political tension in the necessary community conversation about the need to act and adapt to our changing weather patterns,” he added.

The new Brown to Green report says it all:

We’re failing to contribute our fair share to global carbon abatement and of course this has contributed to unseasonal fires.  In its most recent State of the Climate report, the BOM and CSIRO noted:

Australia’s weather and climate are changing in response to a warming global climate. Australia has warmed just over 1 °C since 1910, with most warming since 1950. This warming has seen an increase in the frequency of extreme heat events and increased the severity of drought conditions during periods of below-average rainfall. Eight of Australia’s top ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2005.

The year-to-year changes in Australia’s climate are mostly associated with natural climate variability such as El Niño and La Niña in the tropical Pacific Ocean and phases of the Indian Ocean Dipole in the Indian Ocean. This natural variability now occurs on top of the warming trend, which can modify the impact of these natural drivers on the Australian climate.

Increases in temperature are observed across Australia in all seasons with both day and night-time temperatures showing warming. The shift to a warmer climate in Australia is accompanied by more extreme daily heat events. Record-warm monthly and seasonal temperatures have been observed in recent years, made more likely by climate change.

Examining the shift in the distributions of monthly day and night-time temperature shows that very high monthly maximum temperatures that occurred around 2 per cent of the time in the past (1951–1980) now occur around 12 per cent of the time (2003–2017). Very warm monthly minimum, or night-time, temperatures that occurred around 2 per cent of the time in the past (1951–1980) now also occur around 12 per cent of the time (2003–2017). This upward shift in the distributions of temperature has occurred across all seasons, with the largest change in spring.

Australian rainfall is highly variable and is strongly influenced by phenomena such as El Niño, La Niña, and the Indian Ocean Dipole. Despite this large natural variability, underlying long-term trends are evident in some regions. There has been a shift towards drier conditions across southwestern and southeastern Australia during April to October. Northern Australia has been wetter across all seasons, but especially in the northwest during the tropical wet season.

Year-to-year variability occurs against the background drying trend across much of the southern half of Australia (south of 26° S). In 17 of the last 20 April to October periods since 1999, southern Australia has had below average rainfall. Recent years with above-average rainfall in this region were generally associated with drivers of higher than usual rainfall across Australia, such as a strong negative Indian Ocean Dipole in 2016, and La Niña in 2010.

Fire weather is largely monitored in Australia using the Forest Fire Danger Index (FFDI). This index estimates the fire danger on a given day based on observations of temperature, rainfall, humidity and wind speed. The annual 90th percentile of daily FFDI (i.e., the most extreme 10 per cent of fire weather days) has increased in recent decades across many regions of Australia, especially in southern and eastern Australia. There has been an associated increase in the length of the fire weather season. Climate change, including increasing temperatures, is contributing to these changes. Considerable year‑to‑year variability also occurs, with La Niña years, for example 2010–2011 and 1999–2000, generally associated with a lower number of days with high FFDI values.

Hotter, drier and more fires is exactly what is expected from climate change in south eastern Australia.

Does scum burn?

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


  1. If you think that the reduction in back burning isn’t as significant a contributor to this fire danger as any other factor then you are drunk.

    And I’m saying that as someone who has evacuated their parents from their home and is currently sitting at the in-laws house with the cars loaded with favoured possessions and awaiting possible evacuation ourselves.

  2. Builtup Undergrowth that’s not allowed to be Backburned Does, & Easy! Good luck getting that through to anyone who can score points passing the buck to point elsewhere.

    • good point Colin. but also Fed Gov stubborn refusal (and in Barnaby’s case encouraging) to deal with carbon emissions, illegal water usage (especially in Northern NSW), illegal tree clearings has and is causing long term damage.

      • Agree Nik there’s more than one factor, as usual. Some are more tangible than others & pretty bloodi obvious too. Backburning was stopped despite all advice to the contrary years ago by noisy know nothings & has now added unnecessary heat & grief to the fire.

      • What has Carbon emissions got to do with it? Where are the people who know the mechanisms that produce drought conditions? If anyone had a clue they could tell you exactly when, where, and how the next drought would arise. Nobody has and nobody has a clue.
        The number quoted for our Carbon emissions is total BS! Absolute total BS made up by a bunch of ponces who want to deny poorer people of reliable power. Numbers made up by ponces who have no idea about Methane cycles – just so they can get rid of farmers because farmers tend to be a conservative bunch. Any lie will do.
        I await the next MB instalment of how important the external account is and how it will crash the economy – following this tripe that basically says we don’t need no damned exports!

        • mate, same as you, I am not convinced 100% on the carbon thing. however, it is easy one for me to support as even if not true it will eliminate large part of current air pollution we breath and reduce respiratory diseases.

          and I agree with Colin’s comment 100% anyway.

    • desmodromicMEMBER

      The trick is getting the right conditions for a ‘cool burn’, else the control burn becomes a wildfire. These days we wait longer for such conditions and the problem compounds. As well, control burns become more difficult to manage as the suburbs expand. And then it burns. Then we blame the greenies, deny that CC has anything to do with the problem, clean up, go home and nothing changes–except next time it’s worse.

      • Yep we are burning later & shorter here than before so it is harder. The only answer to that would be more teams……… There’s still places that need burning that we’re not allowed to – which can be attributable to the Green ideology Vs reality.

  3. Must have been nice living in Australia 50 years ago, when there was no such thing as fires, floods, storms, or droughts. When the weather was perfect every day, and climate change didnt exist.

    • The difference was real people with real experiences were in charge who made down to earth decisions. Also half the amount of people in Oz meant less people in the way of any natural disasters for the MSM to make hay from. Now we have wall to wall circle jerk opinions founded on Trippy Ideals emanating from god knows where.

      • Also: who believes the shit Murdoch tells them and who is capable of independent thought. Or: who is here to push the party line.

        • Ohhh yes- anyone who has any other ideas about practical matters is just an ignorant deplorable probably living in the middle of nowhere. We all need to be sophisticated Sydney/Melbourne city dwellers where we would naturally be experts on anything.
          I’ll back my scientific training. I’d also back the scientist s like David Packham who was CSIRO’s expert on fire.
          The ABC
          David Packham, the scientist
          Posted 8 Feb 2017, 5:33am
          Scientist David Packham is frustrated that more controlled burning is not done to prevent bushfires.

          Bwahahaaaaa!!! NOW the ABC has taken the video down!!!!!!!!! Can’t let truth get in the way of a good load of BS! Good ole ABC!!!!

          • I agree with you on the ABC and its agendas against free speech that does not fit their agenda profile. However besides 4 corners and 7.30 report I don’t care what ABC has to say or hippies for that matter. I care what respected scientists have to say.

          • just a friendly reminder the fires are in nsw not victoria. Certainly in my local area they’ve done as much hazard reduction as they can. And it’s a Lib govt and the greens have had no say in hazard reduction policy since forever. I’m sure that CSIRO bloke is right and I’m no fan of the Vic Lab govt, but it’s not really relevant is it?

          • The Traveling Wilbur

            Yes. Comments from good-looking monied-up peeps (GLMUPs) are automatically confined to the domain of IPA approved thought. It’s in the genes.

            Saves beating a lot of wood. Well, dead-wood I suppose.

  4. The Australian Federation Drought from 1895 to 1903 was the worst in Australia’s history.

    Australia is the driest inhabited continent, a place where long periods of low rainfall lasting up to a decade or more are very commonplace.
    Historical accounts and scientific analysis indicate that the most inhabited area in South-Eastern Australia experienced 27 drought years between 1788 and 1860, and at least 10 major droughts between 1860 and 2000.
    The Federation Drought received its name because it coincided with Australia’s Federation.
    Many consider this drought, which affected almost the whole country, to have been the most destructive in Australian recorded history, owing to the enormous toll it took on sheep and cattle numbers.

    The difference today is that even the relatively mild and normal drought cycles have a far greater human impact.
    Australia’s population in 1902 was only 3.8 million.
    It is now over 25 million.
    5.0 million are non Australian citizens.
    1.9 million PR 1 third world foreign passport holders sucking up Australian taxpayer funded welfare & health care.
    2.65 million on Temporary & SCV Visas most living & working illegally.
    Another 440,000 tourist visitors – Chinese Indian and other third world influx entering to live & working illegally.
    Plus 65.000 Overstayers.
    5.0 million non Australians.

    90% or 4.5 million of these third world non Australian migrants are in just 2 cities.

    🔻Sydney pop 5.2 million / with 48% or 2.5 million non Australian third world unskilled migrants.
    Almost every second person.
    Nearly half our emissions, sucking up our water, power, third world filth and squalor. Living & working illegally.

    🔻Melbourne pop 5.0 million, with 40% or 2 million third world non Australian foreign passport holder third world unskilled migrants.
    Creating emissions, degrading our living standards. Sucking up our water. Using power.
    Congestion, filth squalor. Living & working illegally.

    We need a climate impact migrant exit strategy.

    At least half – 2.5 million of these third world unskilled illegally living & working non Australian migrants rounded up and exited as part ‘normalisation’ back to the capacity of Australia
    Environment & sustainable population.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      Hey man, we only want to hear about how climate change is causing this unusual dry flammable situation. None of this historical sh1t. Everyone from then is dead anyway so no one cares what happened.

      • Like I said, Australia and the south east in drought is not uncommon.
        Much bigger and longer droughts historically.
        Indeed only 120 years ago.
        And many much more severe & longer droughts prior to that.

        The difference is now that Australia has 25 million people not 4 million.
        5 million of which are non Australian citizens on PR, TR, SCV, TV.
        Choking our cities, creating emissions, massive migrant only slums, degrading our environment, many working & living illegally in visa breach.
        Nearly half (48%) of Sydney pop being non Australians on foreign passports – sucking our dams dry, destroying infrastructure & support capacity, as well as destroying jobs, wages, education, services & our standard of living.

        A simple ‘clean green’ solution to both emissions and environmental impact is to round up and deport this migrant guestworker burden.

        Millions of them.

        Put an environmental impact target on every non Australian migrant.

        The ‘global social cost of a tonne of C02’ is estimated as high as $417 per ton (Pearce)

        It is estimated the average person in Australia has a carbon footprint of about 15 tonnes of CO2 per year. Jan 15, 2018.
        Say at 15 tonnes of CO2 x $417 tonne = $6,255.

        Why isn’t every non Australians foreign passport holder charged $6,225 for the impact they create?

        5 million non Australian third world migrants on foreign passports x 15 tonnes of CO2 each = 75,000,000 tonnes.

        75,000,000 tonnes of C02 caused by the 5 million third world migrant non citizens in in Australia at $417 per tonne = $31 billion of CO2 climate impact.

        The better long term & sustainable solution is that they are rounded up & deported back (many / most are on pretext visas living & working here illegally) to China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South East Asia, Africa, South America.

        In those less advanced third world countries the deported migrant will have a lower carbon footprint and emissions. Back to the paddy field or rural and urban slums of their third world.
        No electricity, no pumped water, no sewerage system in their third world slums.

        And that both helps in reducing Australian emissions and environmental impact as well as lowering the Co2 emissions and environmental impact globally.

    • Bang on Mike.

      People just don’t understand the Australia is a dry hot country, especially MB.

      I come from a long line of Victorian primary producers, my grand father was alive during the 1930’s drought and he always said that was the worst he had seen.

      I remember having to walk around 1500 acres and shoot all the sheep we could not feed any more and the top soil had blow off, squashed up against the fence….. That was the 80’s drought, a time when we were all going to freeze to death.

      Man made climate change is nothing more than a story of greed and power, at the moment NASA says we’re in a cooling period (don’t here these stories from MB as it doesn’t fit the narrative) due to the lack of sun spots, they’re still not sure if we’ll enter a mini-ice age buy 2030.

      The current fires are more likely due to a lack of policy, Greenies stopping the clearing of under growth and graziers being able to run live stock through national parks.

      And MB whats the the garbage stats at the head of the story 1910?? you know better than that, next time go back to B.C., Oh sorry that would include a number of much hotter periods and cooler periods to, but that doesn’t fit your narrative…..

    • It’s a fair point. Our contribution to global CO2 is negligible and we are already doing a fair bit. We are also on track to stop Adani and other marginal and unnecessary coal mines which would also be a huge contribution and one which does come at a significant cost to regional workers.

      • Not the huge contribution you may think. China currently mines around 3,500mmt. That’s huge! BP Energy Outlook 2019 forecasts India’s coal dependency 2040 will actually increase to around 80%, emissions to double – despite massive investment in renewables.

        Australia would be foolish to jeopardise its economy for no gain.

        • No we would be foolish to not move in the appropriate direction with balance and thought. We all realise you are the Minerals Council’s Man in Havana lol

  5. “We’re failing to contribute our fair share to global carbon abatement and of course this has contributed to unseasonal fires.”
    If it’s a contribution it’s an immaterial one. Nothing that a country of our size does will make any meaningful difference to worldwide CO2 levels one way to another. Hence it is inaccurate to suggest a causation between the two.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        The one 3d1k wants everyone to see the most…..

        what percentage of the worlds population is Australia again?

        and for those wondering what types of companies are the key generators

        • Gunna, does the planet care about total emissions or per capita. Yes! Total.

          The end-use consumers of of fossil fuels are all of us. Fuels, lubricants, plastics, energy, myriad more.

          • please try harder 3d1k

            We need to per capita to see how wasteful we are and how much we need to shift the needle
            Or, we can have 500mil people here then the point becomes moot (and mute)

            Per capita definitely matters but you know that

            I’m only putting this here for new people who don’t know you’re a a paid mining employee

          • even per capita is misleading because climate pays important role
            climate in Canada or Sauid Arabia, for example, are such that require much more energy to make lives of most of it’s people pleasant during most of the year
            our per capita numbers look much worse when we adjust for the fact that most people in Australia live in areas where very little heating or cooling is required
            people living in Toronto Canada, for example, need so much energy for heating over 6-7 months and more cooling in summer than most people in Sydney need, yet they use less energy per capita
            our energy efficiency is third world, even worse

          • So what is the major sources of energy use in Australia? Do we drive bigger cars? Have bigger houses? Industrial usage? What is it about Australian lifestyles that uses so much energy?

          • @Gavin +1
            What is “Australia” doing specifically, how is this measured? Notice how small countries have higher per capita contributions? It’s not all that clear. Is this a figure about consumption or fossil fuel output power capita. Infographics help bring our pitchforks, but they don’t necessarily help target the culprit. Before you jump on me, I just want to say I want to reduce global carbon, but in the most effective way possible.

          • So long story short, Australia = 1.1% of world’s emissions. Which confirms that what we do pretty much amounts to no material impact at the global level.

          • @Davey – We punch above our weight. But more importantly we have the natural resources to help reduce our emissions significantly and we could lead the world with technology and show how it’s done. Rather than saying it’s not our responsibility, we could show other developing nations how it’s done. Lead by example. Like we used to do in the past when this was a better country that aspired to invent and build high quality things.

        • If you’ve an issue with carbon emissions Gunna go to China and complain, oh sorry you’d be chopped up for spare parts better stay in Australia where it’s an easy target…

  6. reusachtigeMEMBER

    I’ve got to admit, I like it hotter and drier. One thing I hate when I wander down to Bronte is it being too cold and wet to lay on the beach. Today is awesome. Hot enough for me to go for a hip-paddle. And bush fires don’t really concern me. Bronte Gully is quite green and lush unlike the scabby bush they get out west (and really, if you’ve ever seen that stuff it really is scabby looking – almost like it’s asking to be burnt).

    • fck me reusa.. people are in real trouble/danger right now. you do make me laugh (even now) but man.. you and Kyle Bass must be related.

      • SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

        the more bush fire seasons you live through the less crazy that comment will become – I remember a xmas day about 10 or so years ago now and ash was falling on Sydney like snow!

  7. To all hypocrites: Air-conditioning generates more heat than cold. In order to reduce their contribution to AGW, please turn them off.

      • My personal favourite is up in Cairns. Where the fear of a little bit of sprawl into old cane farmland and abandoned orchards means that the whole urban fringe has become a hot tree-less hell, crushed into tiny poorly designed dog boxes, it’s now unliveable without air-conditioning. Nice work Green Avengers lol.

    • Will do no such thing. We love in a rich country, even people in developing countries these days can afford airconditioning. I see no reason for us to go without.

      Thermal comfort is very important for well being. Frankly speaking,if I had to I would sacrifice the quality/quantity of my food to pay for thermal comfort (not to the point of starvation) — luckily of course I don’t have to.

    • Easy solution, live in a mudbrick home. Many mudbrick home owners report no need for Air Con, and if you use it, just make sure you add solar power and a battery and you’ll have no negative impact!

  8. John Howards Bowling Coach

    There are a whole pile of uneducated people in the world and science can very simply explain the issue. In year 7 science I paid attention and I learned that in simple terms forests absorb carbon and release oxygen (essential for life). So the forests of the world (working in tandem with the oceans where ocean fauna and flora on a micro scale, also absorb carbon) absorb the waste we breath out and to some degree they can also absorb the waste from industry and transport.

    Additionally it is widely understood that forests bring rain. There is a direct linear response that once you remove the forests you receive reduced rainfall, and thank goodness or the massive problem of rain cause landslips would be even worse.

    What we have done in response is to continue to cut down the forests of the world, for agriculture mostly, but also to expand human habitat.

    Simple answer is to have less people and more forest.

    Strange it may seem, but the increasing chance of forest fires from climate change is caused by have too few forests.

    I am still astounded by the massive proportion of people in a supposedly well educated society (Australia), don’t understand that basic science. They should have paid attention in class.

    • Well said. There is room for humans but I think we are full.

      Humans burning stuff and chopping trees down causes man made climate change.

      Deforestation causes the oceans to heat which then causes seaweed and coral to die.

      No seaweed or coral means no fish or oxygen.

      No fish or oxygen means only the 1% elite survive.

      This is why the 1% elite couldn’t care less.

      • John Howards Bowling Coach

        The elites will soon enough remember that Bastille Day didn’t end so well for them.

        But on topic not all elites are so evil. Have a look at people like Yvon Chouinard and Douglas Tompkins, these men are my own inspiration and I will try to leave that same type of legacy for the world from my own companies. There are some of us working for the good of humanity and not just forging companies to enrich our next generation.

        The way I see it, if I don’t who will? I never give to charities in the environmental sphere or any other as their ‘management’ costs absorb all the donation. I can put essentially 100% to the cause, and also be sure that other’s can’t screw it up.

    • Agriculture like growing of Palm Trees for useless products or for factory farming cattle. As annoying as Gen Y is they have a point about going vegan.

  9. Councils are increasingly controlled by greens – especially in NSW after council amalgamations (many independents like Sydney lean strongly towards greens), and they have disallowed back-burning and even just removing trees where they pose an obvious danger.

    This is the single biggest culprit to the current situation. And now they run around trying to create a panic about “climate change” – when in fact they are the ones to blame for all this.