No end for drought as Sydney disappears into smoke

Sydney has disappeared, at The Guardian:

The New South Wales environment minister Matt Kean has split from his federal Coalition counterparts, arguing climate change is behind the bushfire crisis and calling for greater emissions reduction.

Kean’s intervention piles pressure on Scott Morrison to do more on emissions reduction and disaster management after his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull urged him to step up his government’s response to the “national security issue” and former emergency services chiefs pushed for a national summit.

As Sydney suffered through air quality 11 times worse than hazardous levels on Tuesday, Kean told the Smart Energy Summit that weather conditions were “exactly what the scientists have warned us would happen”.

“Longer drier periods, resulting in more drought and bushfire,” he said. “If this is not a catalyst for change, then I don’t know what is.

“This is not normal and doing nothing is not a solution.

“We need to reduce our carbon emissions immediately, and we need to adapt our practices to deal with this kind of weather becoming the new normal.”

At least the pollies are now choking too, via Canberra Times:

ACT school principals have been urged to keep students indoors during recess and lunch and to cancel all physical activity, as the smoke haze engulfs Canberra.

In a letter to principals, the ACT Education Directorate has recommended all outdoor activities at schools be cancelled on Tuesday and Wednesday due to the smoke.

The smoke haze from bushfires burning near Braidwood and on the South Coast has blanketed the city since Saturday, causing air quality in Canberra to plummet.

No relief in sight, at The Australian:

There will be no relief for drought-ravaged regions over the summer, with Bureau of Meteorology officials telling a meeting of state and federal ministers there would be no significant rain until at least April.

The ministers gathered in Moree, in NSW’s northwest, to discuss the best strategies to combat the enduring drought.

Federal Drought and Water Resources Minister David Littleproud vowed to work with drought co-ordinator-general Shane Stone by February to cut bureaucratic red tape so desperate farmers did not have to make separate state and federal applications for assistance.

Meh, at SBS:

Australia’s climate change record has been ranked among the bottom five nations in the world in a global assessment of countries’ emissions trajectories.

The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) measures the emissions, renewable energy share and climate policies of 57 countries and the European Union.

It has been released at COP25, the UN climate summit being held in Madrid, as nations attempt to thrash out the way forward on the global Paris framework responding to the crisis.

More, at Domain:

Here at the 25th UN climate conference in Madrid, Australia’s plan to use leftover Kyoto credits is seen as an attempt to conceal that the government is not trying to meet the Paris target. We could do so much better.

The government expects national emissions in 2030 to be 16 per cent lower than in 2005, the headline Paris target is a 26 per cent reduction. The actual target is framed as an aggregate reduction during the 2020s, nevertheless a large gap remains. This is to be filled with “carry-over credits” from the Kyoto Protocol, the climate treaty that preceded the Paris Agreement.

…We are the only country planning to “carry over”. Almost all countries that care are opposed to it. It reminds the world of the “Australia clause” which the Howard government pushed through at the 1997 Kyoto summit, allowing Australia to count land-use change reductions. It is what created the Kyoto carry-over credits in the first place.

Let them eat ash.

Houses and Holes
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  1. Think like a realestate prime minister.
    What would Smoko want to do to solve this problem once and for all?

    Re-zone the forests.

    Problem solvered.

  2. Oooooh, yay! No breaks for Scummo. Better than a MKR / Block double-header any day. 😉

    Even the new residents are complaining: We didn’t come here for this – do something about it!

  3. April. I don’t think people in the cities realise how bad things really are.

    Jesus. Not only is it drinking water, the rain is needed to put the fires out.

    Our local county water authority has a tank rebate scheme for town water residents, which I shall surely be availing myself of when we move ex farm to town and be adding a handy 22000L tank, half subsidised thanks very much. That is going to be needed en masse.

    And water recycling programs (still no talk of this, this will be needed in major capitals/regional centres before long, probably?).

    Now, what if water runs out. At LSWCHP. Strong case for a small armoury, I’d have thought. And security cameras at your place around water supply points.

    Just wow.


    Anyway, onto Matt Kean. What is he playing at. Well played.

    Pretty p!ss poor for saying the Bellingen’s mayor’s call to embargo logging to give the koala’s some relief was vested interests, but still, he’s making a point of difference for himself, standing apart from Gladys and the idiot Education Minister (he could have at least called her that, philosophical discussion my #rse) and certainly standing apart from #SMOKO and even the moron Nationals and Labor.

    What’s his game I wonder.

    • proofreadersMEMBER

      Kean needs to be sent to an LNP re-education camp – he’s obviously not drinking the HO kool-aid that there is no climate change.

    • A small armoury? Not for me. I’ve seen reports of raids on gangsters in the States where they’ve described the weapons haul as an “arsenal”, and thought “An arsenal? Jeez…I’ve got heaps more guns and bullets than that guy had”.

      A man can never have too many guns. Or guitars.

  4. And if Smoko starts making sounds about tackling the issue of climate change due to public pressure, Dutton will start sharpening knives. Another day, another PM, what a rabble.

  5. Lucky Country eh? 100 plus years of relying on the rabbits’ foot talisman and ignoring sound advice can easily have this effect.
    With no sensible appreciation of threats or contingencies required at a minimum, the journey from ‘bad to worse’ can be frightfully short.

    • We were not only the Lucky Country (regardless of how Horne intended the title) but we were one of the very luckiest – we had it all and potential for more. We sold and squandered it all and are heading toward a third world outcome but retaining the massive price tag on everything we need daily. Everything.

  6. Its simply a sign that Australian society has far surpassed its land’s carrying capacity in a few select locations. Who would have thought we would ignore the science around carrying capacity! We’ll be long extinct before climate changes takes hold proper

  7. David the water crisis you bring to our attention as part of the overpopulation issue has come to ahead with the fires. The water supplies are now filled with ash

    The Sydney beaches are covered in it – as are the drinking water catchment areas and dams / reservoirs.

    They are filled with ash but the government is not telling anyone as it will create panic.

    Let that sink it.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Just this.

      Rain falls in burnt out catchment areas and our drinking water turns to sludge. Tenterfield is struggling with this right now. I’m surprised it has taken so long for the media to wake up to this…but maybe I shouldn’t be…