Nats: “Raving inner-city lunatics” link fires to climate change

Via The Australian:

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has lashed the “disgraceful, disgusting” behaviour of “raving inner-city lunatics” for linking climate change to the ferocious bushfires burning across Queensland and NSW.

Speaking on ABC Radio on Monday Mr McCormack said Australia had experienced bushfires since “time began” and defended the Morrison government’s decision not to meet with senior fire and emergency service leaders that have demanded action on climate change.

It comes as firefighters across Sydney and NSW brace themselves for predicted “catastrophic” conditions on Tuesday after three people were killed and 150 homes were destroyed over the weekend.

Perhaps the leader of thr Nats might consult the Australian Government on this. 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.

There is only one “raving lunatic” lighting political fires here and it ain’t “inner city wokes”.

Houses and Holes

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the fouding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.

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Comments

  1. Even if everything the alarmists is saying is true, there is not a damn thing Australia can do about climate change. So talking about climate policy in Australia as a reaction to bushfires is a gigantic joke especially when China alone has 40x the coal power, not to mention they’re building 300 more coal fire power stations, and they do not give a damn about how much we shoot ourselves in the foot economically to curb our emissions (to literally zero effect on the climate).

      • I’m sure China with their excellent track record of human rights and environmental concerns can’t wait to go green (you first western world!). The chinese coal power stations that are furiously under construction by the hundreds is just a last hurrah.

        • China leads the world in green power and green tech by decades – it is literally several times more than everyone else combined.

          Their shift to electric buses over the past 3 years has seen smog reduce so much that Shanghai and Beijing the once poster children for smog are now BETTER than most US cities.

          Incredible.

          The old “China is building coal fired plants” is such unmitigated pork lard its not funny.

          That little furphy came about as a result of China retro-fitting existing coal plants green tech to reduce their carbon out put – so no, load of blah.

          Grow up. Honestly – grow up.

        • human rights? how many millions of civilians have been killed or made refugees by US and UK regime changes around the world? And all that with our support. So let’s first clean our backyard before lecturing others on human rights. The west created slave markets in Libya so just to change a leader that did not agree with them.
          Same applies to environment – let’s get our act together then we will worry about others. Why can’t we compare ourselves to countries that actually do better than us?
          Why always compering ourselves to someone that is worst than us? Race to the bottom I guess.

          • China coal power = 1300GW and increasing YoY, Aus = 20 GW and dropping.
            You seem like the kind of guy that will break open his piggy bank to bail out the US economy.

          • “The west created slave markets in Libya so just to change a leader that did not agree with them.”

            How many westerners are slamming a gavel down in these slave auctions?

            or would it be inaccurate to say ‘they created them’…. more like…

            Westerners destablised a country that had previously inhibited slave trading. Now left to their own devices, Africans once again are created a slave trade.

          • The globe doesn’t give a damn about ‘per capita’ emissions. There is not such thing as localized global warming champ. It’s the absolute numbers that count towards global warming, which is why I don’t think Aus should be leading the charge when our absolute emissions are negligible and cannot effect the global temp in any way.

      • You mean your BS keeps the BS Global Warming oooppsss climate change going with the rest of the morons in this world….. HnH maybe you should find you a Greta kid on here to be your front person for global warming DAMN I mean climate change posts etc…

    • If you saw someone dying, would you stop and help or keep walking because they’re going to die anyway. By your assertion walking away and letting someone die is exactly what you’re doing.

      • Would you help the drug addict you see collapsed in the street but continue to sell heroin to all the others?
        This is the equivalent of tryng to go green while still selling coal to the rest of the world.
        Until we stop mining and exporting coal anything else is just virtue signalling.

      • No. I’d ban any movement that had started that would’ve helped him. Then I’d get me mates from the coal lobby and me Hillsong buddies and we’d kick the crap out of him as to help him remember that the reason he’s dying is because he didn’t have a go. Then I’d wish him “thoughts and prayers”.

    • Narapoia451MEMBER

      So never mind transitioning to and building up an export industry in renewable, non-polluting technologies that not only could impact climate change through adoption in other countries – but will also save the lives of thousands of Australians every year through reduction sin pollution? Not to mention doing so will be cheaper than building new coal generation to replace the retiring infrastructure.

      Your ‘even if’ gotcha doesn’t make sense – because even if we discount the direct impact on the global climate of such a transition in Australia – there are a raft of economic, social and local environmental reasons to do it anyway.

      • I’m for sensible energy policy where it makes sense, namely nuclear (clean and green), but it’s always suspiciously off the cards for those on the left, despite it being proven the safest (lowest deaths direct and indirect per mwh of any form of power) and most reliable form of power gen.

        • While i wont deny renewables/CC has lobbyists acting in their own interests, nuclear hasn’t painted itself a pretty picture with its envrionmental effects, and yes this was because of poor decisions and could have been prevented the one time it does go wrong it causes huge problems. so just saying some of the negative image of nuclear does lie on nuclear itself.

        • Narapoia451MEMBER

          Agree that Nuclear gets left off the table too often – but the real point against it is that it is incredibly expensive and always relies on taxpayer handouts to get going. It’s just another way to privatise profits and socialise losses – there is some hope with next gen reactors having lower costs in construction and waste handling and we should be pouring the taxpayer funds into research/commercialisation on those rather than subsidising the current technology.

          End of the day though – sunlight and wind in combination with decreasing storage costs are going to be cheaper than all sources pretty soon. So bang for buck it makes more sense for Australia to invest in those rather than trying to play catchup in nuclear tech, leave that to other countries with more experience.

        • “I’m for sensible energy policy where it makes sense, namely nuclear (clean and green), but it’s always suspiciously off the cards for those on the left,”

          It’s sensibly left off the cards by anyone with a brain, mainly due to the fact if we get a failure, there’s pretty much nothing we can do about it. This will be a self-fulfilling point of failure.

          To avoid failure, we will pay plenty to attract the best. The best will keep revising and improving to make it a cushy job.

          Once its a well paid, cushy job, it will “need” diversity amongst the staff.

          Once we have diversity, it will incur critical failure from a technical perspective as quotas are met on the politicking means, rather than technical know how.

          • Jumping jack flash

            +1

            All moot anyway because due to the need for more debt we have the gouging and the gouging will cause decentralised energy which will solve a lot of these problems inherently.

            Nobody is going to set up a nuclear reactor in their backyard… Well… Probably not.

      • The Horrible Scott Morrison MP

        They said that the settled science was that climate change would result in a wetter planet. You really are easily brainwashed. Big ABC fan are you?

    • Stefan is right Australia is poor and too useless to lead from the front in any aspect of world stewardship. Also I find ignoring problems is usually the best way to deal with them.

      • Quite sad, considering the Australia I grew up in.

        My grandparents generation returned from war ready to take on the world, they nearly got there.

        It has all unravelled very quickly.

    • The Horrible Scott Morrison MP

      Last week they claimed 11000 “scientists” agreed that there was a climate emergency. These “scientists” included a social worker, a property developer, a bunch of students, and Mickey Mouse. You know they’re lying if their lips are moving.

  2. Going by the historical record, it doesn’t look like much has changed – yet.
    These are both from long before we burnt enough fuel to affect the climate.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Thursday_bushfires
    The weather reached record extremes. By eleven it was about 47 °C (117 °F) in the shade. The air cooled to 43 °C (109 °F) by one o’clock and rose to 45 °C (113 °F) around four o’clock. Survivors claimed the air was so full of smoke and heat that their lungs seemed to collapse. The air was so dark it made the roads seem bright.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Friday_bushfires
    The Black Friday bushfires of 13 January 1939, in Victoria, Australia, were among the worst natural bushfires (wildfires) in the world. Almost 20,000 km2 (4,942,000 acres, 2,000,000 ha) of land was burned, 71 people died, several towns were entirely obliterated and the Royal Commission that resulted from it led to major changes in forest management. Over 1,300 homes and 69 sawmills were burned, and 3,700 buildings were destroyed. It was calculated that three-quarters of the State of Victoria was directly or indirectly affected by the disaster. The Royal Commission noted that “it appeared the whole State was alight on Friday, 13 January 1939”.[1]

    In the days preceding the fires, the state capital, Melbourne, experienced some of its hottest temperatures on record at the time: 43.8 °C (110.8 °F) on 8 January and 44.7 °C (112.5 °F) on 10 January. On 13 January, the day of the fires, temperatures reached 45.6 °C (114.1 °F), which stood as the hottest day officially recorded in Melbourne for the next 70 years. (Unofficial records show temperatures of around 47 °C (117 °F) were reported on the Black Thursday fires of 6 February 1851).[2]

  3. if this is something normal that happens regularly the question is why it has such a large consequence and why government and people are not ready for it?
    whatever the case is government is to blame, if this is normal even government failed to prepare for it, if it’s due to global warming government failed to prevent it

    • City boundaries are expanding… population is growing…
      Has the cause of the fire been determined yet? I thought the earlier fires this year were deliberately lit? Hardly climate change if controlled burns are not taking place.

      • All the land owners who have blocks next to national parks lobbying the local council to rezone their land to high density residential so they can make a motza when selling to developers.

  4. Heard the interview this morning and what’s not been reported is the absolute kicker when the host repeatedly asked Mc Cormack about a letter signed by twenty odd former senior and experienced SES personnel sent to David Littleproud and Angus Taylor (that name again) in April seeking a meeting on the very issues they’re dealing with now, that was met with no response from either Minister.

    The same letter was sent to the same Minister’s just recently and no response. McCormack repeated “this is not the time to talk about these issues” but as the host pointed out “when is? People have been trying to meet the relevant Minister’s, these are former senior SES members from across the country that want to discuss the issues, when is a good time to talk about it?” McCormack spun off into some lefty green rant ignore the issue, sticking to the talking points. Sounded like a complete d1ck.

  5. One thing’s for sure we won’t be worrying about these stories in a few years. There will be no mortgages or insurance out in these places so we can forget about the politics of it.

    • desmodromicMEMBER

      I recently enquired about insurance costs in the Adelaide Hills, prior to putting in an offer on a house in a fire prone area. $1900 compared to $1100 for the same house if in suburbia 5km away. That said, it would be an additional $300,000 to purchase if down the hill in the suburbs. The difference in insurance costs is only likely to widen.

      • interested partyMEMBER

        Similar story up here regarding cyclones ( far north Qld )……premiums through the roof. We currently cough up over 200 per month, and we are not an outlier.
        That’s on a very modest older style dwelling in residential zone.

        Having said that….I will take a whirly-gig over a fire….every time. Thoughts are with all who are fire affected. Please be safe.

  6. I wonder if that’s the graph used (1910 – onwards) by the CSIRO in the 1970’s to qualify global cooling? The definately doesn’t seem to back their hypothesis.

    Once may consider they had either used doctored information back then, to propel a narrative…. and data that’s not expressed in this ‘new’ data

    Or they are using doctored information now…. to propel a narrative… using data that didn’t occur.

    Either way, it’s hard to believe this is the same data that could put forward a global cooling hypothesis 50 years ago, to a global warming hypothesis now. They’ve either lied, or don’t understand the science …… at least once.

    • I believe the hypothesis in the 70s was based on the solar sunspot cycles rather than climate data. The Maunder Minimum theory says we should be experiencing a cooling down effect next year.

      • So the experts said we were cooling, even though the data showed increase temperatures since the 1910’s?

        Did we have a different definition of ‘climate science expertise’ back then? Have we improved the definition now?

        • Then, as now, it was a very complicated topic with many complex interactions that are hard or impossible to fully understand.
          Also then, as now, science often falls prey to group think due to publishing or funding concerns or even simple human nature.

  7. Tassie TomMEMBER

    Queensland’s coal exports have warmed the globe and have changed the climate which has destroyed Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef and their rainforests.

    Try telling me that statement’s false, Mr Deputy Prime Minister.

    • Can I have a go???
      Sydneys rainforests got destroyed 10’s of thousands of years ago by changing climate long before queensland was exporting coal.
      I’m too lazy to look up extinct coral reefs, but I’m betting there are some from before the industrial revolution.
      Do I win a prize???

    • The Horrible Scott Morrison MP

      You buying and using a computer has warmed the globe and has changed the climate which has destroyed Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef and their rainforest.

      • Tassie TomMEMBER

        As I said, your own coal f***ed up the climate and f***ed up your own reef and your own rainforests. You and your coal can go to hell. F**k you arrogant Queenslanders.

        • interested partyMEMBER

          Feel like telling us how you really feel?

          I get the angst….but I find it misplaced. The growing mobs in the cities are where the damage is being done, my friend. If you think people have contributed to the death of the reef ….think on this. You….by way of visiting it…on a diesel powered vessel….helped in it’s demise. Feeling better?

          But rest easy, ole mate…..the reef is ok.

        • interested partyMEMBER

          Mate, from your tag….I take it you are from Tassie.
          How are the stocks of Huon Pine going? How about all the old growth forests…finished clear-felling them all yet? Last I heard, any tree standing was in trouble………you going to blame Qld’s for that mess as well?

          Didn’t you have a few fires a while back also? Who you going to blame for that?

      • Tassie TomMEMBER

        I went to the reef this year. It’s f***ed! There’s only a few live blobs of reef left and there’s boats all around those remaining pieces of living reef because nobody wants to see dead reef. They’re a long way from shore too – all the closer ones that people used to go to are dead. If you ever want to see a living coral reef in Australia you’d better see it soon.

          • I dont have the article and read it from an paper that said the reef is actually flourishing and doing very well. But of course Ill be attacked for saying this….LOL

          • interested partyMEMBER

            LBS, the names and the attacks are a badge of honour. Someone has to call out the mis-informants….strewth….don’t they get offended when you do… The falsehoods are sanctity to the indoctrinated.

        • Tassie TomMEMBER

          @ Interested Troll – every Queenslander and MCA spruik says that for obvious vested reasons. But the GBR is absolutely stuffed! There’s only a few pockets of living reef left – the rest is so dead it might as well be mined for limestone. “I’ve lived here 30 years” – Congratulations!

          • interested partyMEMBER

            Tassie, help me out here……what reef did you visit? I am genuinely curious.
            Would you be willing to tell me the boat and the mob you travelled on? and what port you embarked from?
            Context matters.

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