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California: maybe prescribed burns once every 500 years are not enough?

 

Californian fires, NASA image.

California’s devastating Kincaid Fire located in Sonoma County has grown to over 66,000 acres and NASA’s Terra satellite captured this dramatic image of the smoke plume cascading down the coast. OCt 27, 2019.  |  NASA image.

In Western Australia (WA) we have incendiary gum trees, regular droughts, and humidity so low that sometimes the clothes dry in the washing machine. Far be it for me to tell Californians how to manage their forests, but thought it worth a mention that Western Australian State govt do managed burns on 8% of the forest each year, and our top experts say it should be twice as much.

Compare that to California, where the rate of prescribed burning is now around 0.2% of the forest or so. Not the same type of fire-loving trees, but still the flammable kind…

BushfireFront: WA burns about 8% annually

  A regime of green burning also produces a healthier and more vigorous forest and is better for biodiversity. This approach was applied rigorously in WA forests for nearly 30 years, with tremendous success. Unfortunately since about the 1980s green burning has been under constant attack from environmentalists and academics. As a result, in Victoria and New South Wales, especially in forests which are now national parks, almost no effective prescribed burning is done.  Even in WA, where green burning was once championed, the area burnt each year has now fallen well below that required to ensure an effective fire management system. Here the annual burning target is 8% of the forest – simple arithmetic allows you to calculate that this equates to a turn-around time of 12 years, which in the jarrah forest at least is nearly twice the recommended burning rotation length if summer wildfires are to be manageable.

 California: Burns about 10% every 50 years….

Twenty-first century California, USA, wildfires: fuel-dominated vs. wind-dominated fires

Jon E. Keeley & Alexandra D. Syphard
Although national parks began this movement 50 years ago, it is clear that, over this period of time, they have not come close to returning historical fire frequencies (estimated at 10 to 30 years) to Sierra Nevada forests. For example, 50 years of prescription burning in national parks has only burned around 10% of the forested landscape, which, at this rate, would take 500 years to burn all of the forested landscape, assuming no reburning of previous burns.

Mechanical treatments that remove understory fuels and thin the density of trees has two advantages over prescription burning: it can be done over a greater portion of the year and potentially can pay for itself through timber sales.

Let’s see that data again. After truly awful fires of 1961, prescribed burns were ramped up dramatically, and then wildfires were almost non-existent for the next twenty years in WA. See that data (before someone alters it). Gradually greens took more control of forest management. As less controlled burns were done, the fires of the uncontrolled type increased to “fill that gap”.

Fires, burnoff, Western Australia

As prescribed fire reduction declined, wildfires increased in South West Australia.  (Click to enlarge)

In Australia we can either have man made fires or natural catastrophes.

Apparently some Californians have been burning off since practically the end of the last ice age. It’s just university educated Californians who don’t seem to have the hang of it yet:

 The native communities across California have been practising traditional, controlled forest burning techniques for 13,000 years….

 CA neglecting safe burns

Ryan Sabalow, Dale Kasler, Maya Miller, The Sacramento Bee

In much of CA firefighters are not even allowed to let natural fires burn in safe conditions:

In California, the debate over prescribed burns is complicated by a deadly history with wildfires that have grown quickly out of control, the state’s stringent environmental regulations, fear of liability lawsuits and infringement on property rights, and the huge swaths of federal forestland with their own management rules and oversight.

For their part, the Tahoe National Forest’s managers say they understand the ecological value of allowing fires such as the Sugar to burn when conditions are safe. But while the agency has loosened the rules on letting fires burn on some national forests, managers of the Tahoe are still required to extinguish any fire that ignites in the woods as quickly as possible.

Researchers estimate that in 1800, 15% of Californian forest would burn each year:

By some estimates, many of the state’s forests have up to 100 times the amount of small trees and underbrush than what grew prior to white settlement. Meanwhile, researchers estimate that prior to 1800, some 4.5 million acres of the state’s forests burned in a typical year — more than the 1.9 million acres that burned in 2018, the most in modern history.

That has fallen to 0.3% per year:

Yet in a state with more than 30 million acres of forest, only about 87,000 acres of California land were treated with prescribed burns last year to reduce undergrowth prior to the state’s deadly fire season, according to data from Cal Fire, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

CA doesn’t have the incendiary mix that Western Australia does, but perhaps needs something more than burnoffs once every 500 years.

Best wishes to everyone affected.

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Rating: 9.9/10 (68 votes cast)
California: maybe prescribed burns once every 500 years are not enough?, 9.9 out of 10 based on 68 ratings

243 comments to California: maybe prescribed burns once every 500 years are not enough?

  • #
    Spetzer86

    Don’t know if this information will help. Logic and American Leftists are not known to be close associates.

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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    How dare you Aussies try to tell California we’re getting it wrong. Just because you know what you’re doing and we don’t doesn’t give you license to tell us anything. After all, w’re the sanctuary state, the Trump hating capitol of the left coast and the home of the two best ever members of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi and Adam Shiff and we own the world right now. To hell with fires. The important thing, indeed the only important thing is to impeach, impeach, impeach… …until no Republican will dare to go out in public.

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    • #
      Curious George

      We can teach you how a grid managed by politicians and judges works. Rolling blackouts? One roll in 48 hours – my power just came back after 40 hours. We still have a lot to learn from Venezuela.

      230

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        But you’re catching up quick.

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        • #
          John PAK

          Au is trying to catch up with California.
          2019 land clearing laws in NSW mean that I’m now not allowed to cut down trees on my property or do sensible fire mitigation works to protect my home. Trees within 10m of buildings may be removed but there’s a $1000 fine for that tree 11m away from my house and I’m forbidden to do judicious winter burns of leaf litter without professional assessment. Needless to say, my neighbours and I remove trees and burn the evidence and on quiet winter nights we carefully burn selected areas of dry leaves on the ground and remove flammable shrubs like Tea-tree.
          The best option is removal of dry material on the forest floor and burning on a small bon-fire but this is a lengthy procedure over several acres so I rake leaves away from the base of trees and then let a slow controlled burn run through the area. I follow the fire with a back-pack water unit to extinguish anything that “gets away”.
          All illegal and punishable by huge fines. Mad world.

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          • #

            John
            We moved off acreage a little while back but we did the same thing you did. We cut trees down and pruned others and then burnt off several times a year, but we heaped it all up in a large cleared area. I knew the local Rural Fire Service head and he said they took the view that what I and others were doing was only sensible and would greatly limit the chance of large fires, and hence make their job far easier.
            But not all were as sensible as he. My wifes uncle was taken to court over a burn off on his property in southern NSW. (fortunately he got off with a warning), but in that area there were huge fuel buildups due to the total lack of burnoffs over the years. A tinderbox waiting to explode…

            10

      • #
        sophocles

        Venezuela has a big advantage over Oz: it’s located on the northern edge of the South Atlantic Magnetic Anomaly. So when ever the sun gets a little spiteful and tosses in some curly Solar Wind, the Venezuelan National Grid goes down in flames and the El Presidente starts yelling about being attacked. Take it literally because it is an attack but not by human agencies, so it’s bigger blacker and longer black-outs… :-)

        20

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      How dare who?

      And who thinks that the red area on that satellite photo is a photo of a fire?

      Or who thought we might think it was?

      50

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      9:46 AM, 10/30/2019

      The forecast wind for today has hardly had a chance to get started and already there 2 major fires going. The Reagan Library in Simi Valley has been threatened since earlier this morning but is apparently safe now. We do this to ourselves. The fires almost always start near people or one of our facilities like power poles. A spontaneous fire way out in the woods miles from any human activity is a rare thing by comparison.

      10

  • #

    California, the world’s richest non-national region and a heartland of technical innovation, can’t manage to maintain its power lines or clear vegetation. Because some things are just too hard. So you get those neat north/south corridors of blazes, annually now. They even cut the power ahead of the winds (and lawyers).

    Yep. No agenda here. It’s just that some people can generate trillions of dollars while changing the world…but can’t maintain the power lines or clear the overgrowth. Even though they used to. No agenda here. Just climate change meets save-the-species.

    And if people aren’t able to rebuild in those corridors, fair enough. Most would be better off in a smart city that doesn’t exist yet but which will be the knees of the bee when it does exist.

    Alexa, tell Siri to tell me more about smart cities. Will drones be able to deliver my favourite TVP burger.

    I tell you it’s just stuff that happens, okay? No agenda here, okay?

    250

    • #
      Greg in NZ

      Literary genius plus common sense – it’s why I keep coming back to Jo’s Café!

      To the west of Kali Firin’ Ya, just over the horizon beyond the place of the setting sun:
      Mauna Kea Observatories Forecast
      10 AM HST (2000 UTC) Tuesday 29 October 2019

      http://mkwc.ifa.hawaii.edu/forecast/mko/

      “Chance for fog/ice and flurries”.
      Temp 0.5˚C, dropping to -1.5˚C.
      Aloha Hawai’i!

      50

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    So if it can be shown that lack of controlled burning has caused this problem, especially if its caused loss of human life, go after those who created the problem with real jail time.

    Until a few micreants are rounded up and properly punished, it wont stop.

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      ..miscreants….

      Problem is too, the gaia worshippers would be happy that thier “gaia” is taking “revenge”…such as appears to be thier deluded little minds….never mind its only unburnt fuel.

      Jail time…best solution for this for the guilty….

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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Steve,

        It won’t happen. The guilty have become far too powerful and they protect each other and are very good at it.

        First things first: PG&E management is directly responsible for the lack of maintenance and the fires that resulted. But they had plenty of help. And at risk that Jo may not like the subject I’ll tell you what happened. To comply with state law PG&E has spent years kissing up to politically correct causes, spending huge sums going after sources of “GREEN” energy that should have gone to maintenance. Worse, they have spent head over heels making PG&E the poster child for non discrimination. By one account the percentage of every protected class from black to LGBTQ — and if there are by any stretch any other genders, include X and Y and Z — became a more important hiring and assigning criterion than ability to do the job. This kind of thing soon destroys a company that had a useful job to do and replaces it with one whose job is political correctness. You cannot serve two masters and it is now clear which master PG&E was serving.

        But I don’t think it ends there. I think (don’t know yet but I think) PG&E drove itself into financial difficulty and just kept going. It’s nice to be a “public utility” because you have the public utilities commission to see to it that you can always charge a rate high enough to stay profitable for stock holders. And you add the billions in law suits already facing PG&E and you get the state and CPUC to buy into this PSPS, Public Safety Power Shutoff idea to protect PG&E from future liability. They can try to tell me it’s to protect public safety but I’ve been around a little too long to fall for that. And PG&E has filed for bankruptcy.

        No, there will be no justice, just buck passing. And a funny thing happens when you go down that road. Every succeeding generation of leadership tends to become more incompetent than the previous one. It doesn’t matter whether it’s government or business. The voters put in a man with a solid record of accomplishment to be president for 4 years starting in 2017. I wish I could point to even half so solid a record with my name on it as Donald John Trump can. Whatever else he is he’s a man who gets the right things done. And immediately the entrenched incompetence in the House of Representatives becomes obvious. If you follow this impeachment charade, would you call what’s going on an example of competent leadership?

        Now take a good look at the lineup of fools hoping to replace Trump and tell me the the White House would not become the home of an incompetent if one of them should win. In California Gavin Newsom is so much less competent than Jerry Brown that there is already a recall effort underway.

        And round and round it goes. Where it stops, nobody knows. But the direction is always downhill until collapse. Historians say the Roman Empire lasted about 800 years as a recognizable entity. I’m not so good a historian that I can say yea or nay about that but it doesn’t look like the United States of America lasts any where near that long.

        That’s my reading of the tea leaves and it doesn’t look good.

        60

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Roy I hate to say it, but naybe a full blown fight between the rabid left and the resolute right wing in the USA is the only way to purge the evil that has infested and rotted America.

          When the rot is so bad, you need a scorched earth restart of the nation. I suspect many of those who are currently politically untouchable wont be when a determined and honourable citizen arrests them for proper trial in accordance with the rile of law.

          By the way I am not advocating violence nor any form of insurrection, but right now a reboot if America may be its only hope.

          It seems like in Oregon and CA that govts are content to let the states run down and encourage lawlessness. When CA becomes a plague infested open sewer you either have to wall it iff and let it collapse , or force thd govt to actually do its job. If legally arresting the governor for failing to do his job properly what it takes….well….

          10

          • #
            Roy Hogue

            I’ve said this before, I have wondered why Trump has not declared California to be in a state of insurrection against the United States and then roll a couple of armored divisions into Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles and take the place back.

            What can you call it when they pass laws ordering state and municipal employees to ignore federal law except rebellion?

            That might give the rest a good reason to rethink what they’re doing. But in the end, if enough of the people want a certain thing, they will eventually get it.

            00

  • #
    • #
      Robert Swan

      Not a big fan of the thumbs, but why a red thumb for this one? Scaper is just pointing out a spelling mistake and I’m pretty sure Jo would prefer to correct it.

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    • #

      Thanks scarper, I do prefer to get it right. In this case, it’s a quote, so I will leave it, though if it wasn’t I might change it because it is a story about the US. And here’s the curious thing, for our US friends, in UK English, when it’s a noun it’s practice, and when it’s a verb it’s practise.
      Not that I am a grammar genius, I just looked that up. In Australia we were taught UK English at school but watched US Sesame Street on TV. Hence we flex with either or both, sometimes at the same time.

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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Sounds like an awful problem Jo. But you do it well. When I first started reading your blog I did a double take on day when you inadvertently slipped into UK spelling and a word stood out to me as a spelling error. You were so good at using American English that I didn’t realize there was a “language barrier” and you were a native UK speller using American English because it’s so common all over the world.

        10

        • #
          Kalm Keith

          Roy,

          Please be adviced.

          We older Australians were taught English English.

          :-)

          60

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            I can speak good and talk proper, and my grammer is atrocious…..

            30

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              Then there was the sweet young college graduate applying for an entry level secretary position. She passed all the interviews and the boss was ready to hire her but she kept talking a little too long, saying, “…and you won’t have to worry about my punctuation. I’ll be here ready for work every morning on time at eight o’clock.”

              30

          • #
            ivan

            As do the older, non migrant, people in England, the youngsters speak ‘text’.

            30

        • #
          StephenP

          They did say that the US and UK were two people’s divided by a common language.
          Attributed to George Bernard Shaw.

          40

          • #
            Annie

            An example used to be given years ago:

            ‘I am mad about my flat’

            English: I love my new accommodation.

            American: I’m furious about the puncture in my car (sorry! automobile) tyre (sorry again! tire). :)

            60

        • #
          sophocles

          ‘ere you! Jo never inadvertently “slips” into English Spelling. It’s always intentional. We English speak and spell proper english thank you, not some transatlantic dialect which has been fiddled with by a Noah!

          It’s even more so in NZ. Although neither country has road signs written in the Yorkshire … umm … way. the
          http://www.griffiths-signs.co.uk/blog/when-in-rome-and-yorkshire
          Translation available on request :-P
          (scroll down a bit to appreciate the graphic)

          40

          • #
            Kalm Keith

            When the red light shows hold your horses.

            10

          • #
            Annie

            Eh oop lad! We had glimpses of God’s own county in the distance yesterday but no time on this visit to go there…rats!

            10

            • #
              Greg in NZ

              For light entertainment, I occasionally browse https://www.bbc.com/pidgin for such gems as:

              Human being originally come from dis African kontri
              Di area wey bin be very big lake long long time ago na mainly salt stone full dia now

              Insects na correct food for DR Congo
              Insects fit be eco-friendly change instead of meat and no be today DR Congo pipo don like to dey chop am

              How to understand Leicester city 9 – 0 win against Southampton
              Leicester city collect dia biggest ever premier league win against Southampton as dem nack dem 9 – 0

              20

            • #
              Eugene S Conlin

              I’ve often noticed that Yorkshire folk mistake Yorkshire for Wales (Cymru) Annie

              10

          • #
            Mark D.

            I’m reminded of a story from some dear UK traveling friends (from US) trying to get road directions to Dover (white cliffs and all). After asking several times and getting nowhere with “Dover” one of the locals finally figured it out and exclaimed “eau you mean Deauva!”

            20

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              Then there’s the accent. What can you say? Aussies will all know who Slim Dusty was. I’ve become a fan of his music and in one song he sings about a pub with no beer. Only if you listen to how he actually” pronounces beer, it’s “beah” as near as I can spell it. What happened to the R?

              10

              • #
                Brian Lund

                We Aussies hear that as “Beer”, Roy. It is one of the quirks of Ozspeak – if you lived here for a while (Qld or WA), you would learn proper Ozspeak. The other states, not so much! (Lotsa giggles).
                There was a booklet written by John O’Grady, called “They’re a Weird Mob”, another was (I think, although might be by another author) “LesSpeakStrine”, plus “Aussie Etiket”, as well as “Aussie English” – if you ever come across them, have a read. An opening into the soul of Orstraylyens.
                [Other books he wrote are: Cop this Lot, No Kava for Johnny, Gone Fishin', The Things They Do To You, Gone Troppo, O'Grady Sez, Are You Irish or Normal? and So, Sue Me!].

                20

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                Only Qld or WA???

                I’ll probably never get to Oz but the people I’ve met through this blog have made me very sorry that it will probably be that way. There are so many places here at home that I haven’t seen yet. But I couldn’t have asked for a friendlier bunch to rub elbows with.

                So whatever your accent lacks in clarity is more than made up for by the welcome I’ve received.

                20

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    The issue is well known in the Northwest of the US.
    The Era of Megafires (EOM)
    . . . “is a multi-media presentation that combines the research of Dr. Paul Hessburg (Pacific Northwest Research Station, U.S. Forest Service) with the visual storytelling of award-winning film company, North 40 Productions.”

    This is a presentation we have been to.

    As you can guess, folks complain about many things — air quality and so on.

    So, there is an effort to establish “fire adapted” houses and communities.
    https://www.kccd.net/wildland-fire-fuels-reduction

    kccd = Kittitas County Conservation District

    KCCD helped with making our space more fire resistant.

    80

    • #
      Peter C

      Another contribution from Paul Hessburg; this time a TED talk.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6Vayv9FCLM

      70

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      The obvious answer is to burn all those forests to produce electricity instead of California needing to import it from other States.
      From figures from the DRAX station in Yorkshire where they have converted 5 out of 6 units to burn (imported) wood we can calculate that the CO2 emissions will only be about 11-13% HIGHER than using coal, not counting the cost of collecting and shipping the wood.
      To offset the cost the power station would require subsidies, but I understand Californians love subsidising stupid ideas.
      Also allow for the particle emissions to be about 4 times that of coal so there may be some effect on air quality, but that can be dismissed (as usually the case) as opposition to Green Ideas.

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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      We certainly need to do something. And he starts out with the right first step, understand how we got here.

      10

  • #
    PeterW

    Every, repeat EVERY inquiry into major Australian bushfires – back to and including the Stratton Royal Commission into the 1939 fires in Victoria – has recommended that we need to do more fuel management burning on our public lands.

    EVERY time, the politicians pay lip-service to it while failing to either fund it and make it happen.

    We have ample evidence that the lack of regular burning has turned our National Parks into areas bearing little resemblance to the natural ecosystems existing at the arrival of Europeans…… ecosystems that are safe for neither humans or wildlife.

    As a 40-year firefighter, I am bloody sick of both the unreasonably prescriptive restrictions on burning – which limit the practical application of FRB (fuel reduction burning) even when it is theoretically allowed – and the moaning of those who don’t turn out to help fight fires in the heat of summer.

    Do not listen to the lie that FRB is supposed to “stop” fire. It’s function is to reduce intensity so that WE can control fires under those conditions in which fires are otherwise lethal. The Canberra fires of 2003 burnt for several days in relatively mild conditions before severe weather arrived. Had fuel been less ( FRB had not been carried out for many years) they could have been extinguished. As it was, they were still going when strong, hot, dry winds pushed them through to the Canberra suburbs, costing 4 lives and 500 homes.

    We still haven’t learned.

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    • #
      Mark D.

      amen PeterW
      very sensible maybe too sensible.

      50

    • #
      John PAK

      On Christmas Day about 15 years ago in the Hunter valley region of NSW a fire was started all along a fire trail and it slowly crept back into really inaccessible hilly bush for days before rains put it out. I have a strong suspicion that was started by a local volunteer fire crew. We need more sensible folk on the ground to undermine the absurd levels of bureaucracy that are ruining our land.

      50

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Yet it burns one way or the other doesn’t it? How much better would it be to let it burn in a way that does no property damage and doesn’t kill or injure anyone?

      You would think the lesson would be obvious.

      30

      • #
        Lionell Griffith

        You don’t understand.

        Success depends upon your goal. “Their” goal IS to burn property and to kill and injure everyone. “They” are very successful. Obviously, “their” goal and your goal is not the same. You want to live and thrive and “they” don’t want you to live or thrive.

        50

        • #
        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Lionell,

          I think they don’t mind if I thrive as long as I do everything their way. They certainly like it when I’m prosperous enough that they can tax it all away. One thing is clear about the left, they think my money is theirs. I would argue that if you’re going to operate that way you must want those under your thumb to be making money.

          20

        • #
          Brian Lund

          I always see it as a direct result of those with ‘a fascination with fire’ wishing to put ‘the fear of fire’ into the general populace – so that they may be regarded as the heroes who ‘protected the community in their time of need’. And it is increasingly so. Many of the ‘firies’ are there because of that ‘fascination with fire’, I suspect (otherwise they would be doing other lines of work to earn a crust).
          After some 60 years of voluntary rural fire fighting – before and after the ‘Red Truck Experts’ took control, the things I have observed have left me with these conclusions, unfortunately.

          10

  • #
    Another Ian

    How to do it (/s)

    “California Democrats waste billions on useless climate alarmist schemes while the state burns uncontrollably”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/10/29/california-democrats-waste-billions-on-useless-climate-alarmist-schemes-while-the-state-burns-uncontrollably/

    60

  • #
    Dennis

    The Australian Aborigines learnt from natural bushfires and developed their traditional seasonal burning that many other settlers thought in their ignorance was a hunting technique. But the purposes included ensuring that fires lit were controllable, that the wind was blowing in a safe direction and that the heat from the fire was low or cool as compared to wildfires in unmanaged vegetation.

    And as for hunting, the seasonal burning resulted in natural grasses regenerating and the other vegetation as well, and that attracted animals which were hunted when food was needed for a tribe and often animals not far away from their camp sites. It also made walking, travelling easier and safer, easier to spot snakes for example.

    Seasonal burning is now being practised again in Western Australia and Northern Territory using traditional burning practises and thing by park rangers including indigenous rangers.

    When Sydney Town was being established by First Fleet passengers in Sydney Cove, Port Jackson Harbour cattle were disappearing and it was assumed that local indigenous people were stealing them, but when explorers went looking for farmland opportunities in what is now the Camden District south west of Sydney the cattle were found, they had made their way to permanent water supply and natural or native grassland. When earlier settlers in Gippsland Victoria discovered the Snowy Mountains high country native grasslands where they continued to graze cattle for years every summer, until in much more recent times that practise was banned, the cattlemen copied the indigenous seasonal burning and as they left the high country they lit grass fires.

    I have been told by friends who still ride Horses regularly in that country that the lack of seasonal burning has resulted in tangles of blackberry bushes and other bushfire fuel taking over from the grasses. Perfect conditions for an uncontrollable wild fire of destructive highheat from flames. Now unnatural bushland conditions prevailing.

    The first migrant settlers arrived via Papua New Guinea around 65,000 years ago (see the book Cape York, The Savage Frontier), the next oldest evidence was found at Mungo Lake in New South Wales dated 40-50,000 years but it is thought that the second migration route was via what is now Indonesia to the Western Australian Kimberleys Region.

    Maybe those people watched native Australian Birds picking up burning embers and dropping them into areas not burning to flush insects and small creatures for eating? This indicates that as the rainforests retreated when this climate zone became drier around 130,000 years ago and were replaced by vegetation that needs fire to regenerate that fires from lightning strikes were the basis for seasonal burning to become a tradition?

    180

    • #

      Yep. This notion of a reversion to a pristine state which never existed is lethal. In fact, there is no “state”. There is only churn, and we need to churn with that churn.

      Gaia does not exist, but if she does exist she is a cranky old harpy who will chew us up and spit us out if we think we can rest in her lap.

      Conservation is not consistent with environmentalism. Conservation means treating all resources as valuable; money and coal are as precious as wilderness and wildlife. Environmentalism insists on waste and plunder to serve an imaginary Big Mother. It is a thriftless superstition.

      Do tradition, family, property. And do coal.

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      • #

        My bolding here:

        Gaia does not exist, but if she does exist she is a cranky old harpy…..

        Huh!

        Plenty of them in DC representing CA.

        Nancy Pelosi (79)
        Dianne Feinstein (86)
        Maxine Waters (81)
        Grace Napolitano (82)

        At least we know the Democrats aren’t ageist, eh!

        Seems like the only way they’ll lose their seats is to pass away, they are so assured of the vote.

        Tony.

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        • #
          Roy Hogue

          The times may be changing. There is a recall action against governor Newsom gathering signatures as we speak. How far it will go I can’t say. But that such a thing happened at all and is increasing in momentum in this age of foolishness reigning supreme is something of a miracle all by itself.

          That Chinese saying that a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step comes to mind about now.

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          • #
            Lionell Griffith

            Yes. The path to success is to know your goal and to take at least one step toward your goal each day. If you do, you will eventually reach your goal or die trying. Give up and you will fail every time.

            The challenge is knowing the right goals to have. Most times that is not so easy. “Right” meaning fully consistent with your nature and the nature of reality. Not being collateral damage of other peoples reaching their not so right goals is often the best you can do.

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          Mark D.

          Times are changing. Tony has never been this clear about his observations.

          Harpy indeed.

          Good on you Tony

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        sophocles

        I was having a book “sort out and put away” session this morning when I came across my copy of a great and highly relevant book.
        In the preface of the first edition (?) in 1841, (I like elderly books :-P ) the author wrote:

        The object of the author in the following pages has been to collect the most remarkable instances of those moral epidemics which have been excited, sometimes by one cause and sometimes by another, and to show how easily the masses have been led astray, and how imitative and gregarious men are, even in their infatuations and crimes.

        So wrote Charles Mackay in perhaps his greatest and possibly best-known work Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. [free download]. The great delusion of modern times Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming [CAGW], full of “Tipping Points” which failed to tip and watered the Catastrophe down to a very non-catastrophic occurrence thus forcing a quick name change to Climate Change, easily belongs as an addition to that great work. It sure made the Wannbe Nostradami look foolish with predictions such as The Arctic will be Ice Free in (choose one:) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, whenever! and Children just won’t know what snow looks like.

        Heck, I can’t see that last being a great loss. I knew what snow looked like from a warm and comfortable distance well away from it. It was that white stuff on top of that high mountain (Mt Wellington: a volcanic hillock about 100m high in east Auckland City c.1963) …over there. As seen through our dining room window. It was gone by the time breakfast was over. I didn’t truly experience it until I was an adult and that was in Wellingon City in winter — June 1976. It was terribly uninteresting and even worse: cold. Fortunately, I had to suffer it for only three weeks and it was back to sub-tropical Auckland … where it had also snowed … <Multiple Expletives roundly and soundly Deleted>; It still necessitated some immediate warm additions to my wardrobe …

        It (The Book) could be promoted as Compulsory Reading for all school children before their Required Indoctrination into the pseudo-science adhering to Climate Change. It would, however, need to be accompanied with the rider/warning that the author was not immune to what we call Group Think himself.

        An investigation of Mackay’s newspaperwritings shows that he was one of the most ardent cheerleaders for the RailwayMania, the greatest and most destructive of these episodes of extreme investor exuberance [1843 - 1849]
        Mackay’s story provides another example of a renowned expert on bubbles who decides that “this time is different.” His moves through a sequence of delusions help explain the length and damage of the Railway Mania. He was a free market and technology enthusiast, and faced many issues that are important today, such as government ownership and regulation, interconnection, standardization, structural separation, and analogs to net neutrality. A crushing national debt and high unemployment in an economy pulling out of a deep depression (and in perceived danger of falling into another one) were very important in shaping attitudes towards railway expansion.

        wrote Andrew Olyzko. The Biter was Bit. If he were alive now, I wonder if he wouldn’t be a Warmist?

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          Mark D.

          Sophocles, you are spot on and deep. This needs to be in two separate discussions though.

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        • #
          Another Ian

          S

          In my experience a snow storm has two points over a dust storm

          It looks much cleaner

          It does a much better job of looking after the beer

          30

        • #
          theRealUniverse

          ‘Auckland … where it had also snowed’ , maybe with this GSM it might return ;)

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          • #
            theRealUniverse

            And interesting article, well put.

            00

          • #
            sophocles

            It snows occasionally but rarely. What little falls is almost always gone shortly after sun rise. I remember ’76 was a cold winter.And to think I had been running around the hillsides in Waiouru only three months before that playing trainee soldier.The summer had been quite warm.

            I think snow has fallen about four times in the time I’ve been resident (’56 to date). Yes, I have considered your point myself — that it will be more often and maybe even lasting, perhaps, as the GSM progresses. We will just have to wait and see.

            We have a “heat wave” approaching — warm air from NSW is forecast to come in, so people will be running around declaring Heat Waves All Around us and all over the place shortly. The Idiots will have a field day, especially if temps actually approach 30°C then it will be KLIMATE CHANGE instead of just weather. 30 + °C is nothing more than a warm day!

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            • #
              Greg in NZ

              Some weather harpy the other night used the scientrific term ‘very hot’ for Hastings’ 26˚C, while some other place also being battered by a nor’wester coming off the hills was ‘very warm’ on 21˚C. No mention of the cold snow pelting Fiordland’s massif nor Southland’s anticline.

              Snow flakes fell briefly in Papatoetoe 2012 during a bitter June southerly: by the time I’d run back out with my camera ’twas all over. My mum talked of ‘when it snowed’ in Queen Street (!) back in the 1950s, though the flakes melted soon as they landed. Sub-tropical Auckland? Except when it isn’t.

              10

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Thanks Dennis. Nicely put together.

      Whether we’re getting the story from Bill Gamage on Australia’s past or Katharine Birbalsingh on the positive effects of self discipline in schoolchildren, there’s often a certain ring of truth to common sense.

      The question is why do politicians ignore common sense, and the answer of course is money, power, and more money.

      Why is our democracy no longer a democracy?

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        Dennis

        I became interested in the history and lifestyle of Australian Aborigines in recent times and during my travels as a retiree I have visited museums and art galleries to view what early settlers had recorded from 1788 when the First Fleet of British people arrived. I have also read Bill Gamage’s book and others.

        Of course the Aborigines were stone age people but they were not as backwards as white settlers made them out to be, how could people survive in the land of droughts and flooding rains, ice age and little ice age for around 65,000 years if they were stupid unintelligent people? I believe they were very clever survivors and adapted to conditions. The ABC series Bush Tucker Man following the adventures of an Army Officer who was cataloguing native foods (bush tucker) for military survival purposes was very enlightening,

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        • #
          sophocles

          Dennis:
          no humans are backwards. Their intelligence and the use of it to survive is why humans spread around the globe filling every available niche. One thing which bugs me about that — I think it’s an intellectually lazy approach — is the attribution of extinction of groups of animals to human cause.

          For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJDrOmPXzJs\

          and no one knows how or why they died out
          (I have some ideas … and it’s not road kill!)

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    • #
      Curious George

      Awahnee tribe used regular burns in their home, Yosemite Valley. It is a National Park now, and forests are taking over their meadows.

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  • #

    Since I became a fully-fledged conspiracy theorist I find myself in the company of the most extravagant characters, like the guy who said:

    “It is useless to deny, because it is impossible to conceal, that a great part of Europe is covered with a network of these secret societies, just as the superficies of the earth is now being covered with railroads. They do not want constitutional government; they do not want ameliorated institutions; they want to change the tenure of land, to drive out the present owners of the soil.”

    The name of the crazed radical who made this statement back in 1856 was…ummm…it was, er…

    Benjamin Disraeli?

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      “they want to change the tenure of land, to drive out the present owners of the soil.”

      Correct – the UN calls it “Rewilding” and “Agenda 2030″…..

      New Orleans was the most prominent “rewilding” project by govt and the UN – left to rot, in the hope people would abandon it back to “mother gaia”….now you know why a lot of weird stuff happened…

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    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Now there’s a new word! Why did it take me so long to encounter it?

      And for New Orleans. I knew that New Orleans was a disaster waiting to happen. Why did the US government not know? Didn’t they read the National Geographic Magazine in the days when it was a marvellous scientific journal?

      New Orleans is sinking. Just like Bangla Desh, it is built on the delta of a great river. Before man altered the flow, the annual floods used to deposit silt to compensate for the sinking. Now, as the city keeps sinking, that silt goes to the sea as levees keep the floods out. Until the day comes when you get a bigger flood.

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      • #
        Greg in NZ

        Loved strolling the humid pavements of New Orleans, and stumbling the chilly cobblestones of Amsterdam, yet the thought of being 6 feet below sea level kept me moving onwards and upwards . . .

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  • #
    Kalm Keith

    Leadership. Once the art of taking the experience of the past to improve the future. 1960s definition.

    Leadership 2020. Trust your feelings on everything.
    Full speed ahead and damn the consequences, for the deplorables only of course.

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  • #
    Maptram

    I have seen on the ABC, of all places, a program about cool season burning in the North Territory by the indigenous inhabitants, this year and about four years ago. Not sure if the second one was a repeat or a different area. Apparently the cool season burning emits less CO2 than bush fires in the hot season, so much so that an oil company pays the local people to do the burning and claims carbon credits. The usual double standards from the left.

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      What a hoot.

      Claiming Karbon Kredits for the difference between CO2 emissions in controlled burns and delayed explosive burns.

      But at least the bush is being managed to avoid ugly buildup of tangled mess that restricts use by animals and explodes when finally set off.

      KK

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    • #
      John PAK

      Cooler season burning is the norm in the Top End of Au. Local Aboriginal people seem to be doing perpetual burns if you travel the smaller tracks.

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  • #

    There are prescribed burns in California, but most are in the Sierras far away from population centers. Even so, there was a relatively large fire in the Sierras last year in a place where I’ve seen them do prescribed burns almost every summer.

    Prescribed burns are hard to do near populated regions as they can easily get out of control making the liability issues too large. The fires that do the most damage and get the most press are the ones that affect people, which are in places where prescribed burns are too dangerous.

    One problem is that PGE is compelled to subsidize low income ratepayers and spend vast amounts on ‘green’ virtue signaling, rather than direct that money to maintenance, like trimming trees around power lines, which they used to do regularly. Another is that if people want to live up to the edge of a forest, they need to understand the requirement for defensible space. The biggest contributor is the climate, not that it’s changing, but that it’s ideal for propagating fires. There’s no rain from May to November, lots of Sun to dry things out and seasonally strong warm winds that always hit in the fall when the fire danger is the highest.

    This time of the year in California is referred to as the fire season where fires start just as surely as rain falls during the rainy season.

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    • #
      PeterW

      FRB does not “easily get out of control” if you do them frequently enough and have adequate firebreaks..

      Classic case of too little, too late and setting yourself up to fail.
      I speak as a landholder who routinely burns hundreds of acres with only basic equipment and one man.

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      • #

        One of the big problems here is the terrain. For example, steep sided canyons with hillside houses sprinkled between the trees. All of our forests are in mountain regions which adds significant risk to the controlled burns. None the less, there’s a lot of mismanagement and complicity by the state government as it was their foolish regulations that led to the maintenance cut backs that have resulted in some of the fires.

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    • #
      Greg in NZ

      Hurricanes in hurricane season,
      typhoons in typhoon season, cyclones in cyclone season,
      rain in the rainy season, fire in the fire season,
      yet some folk are shocked! unpweecedented! as the BBC would say.

      Meanwhile, over the range, up-wind, yonder eastwards:
      https://electroverse.net/the-continental-u-s-just-set-its-coldest-ever-october-temperature/

      “Peter Sinks, Utah – east of Logan – broke the Lower-48’s cold temperature record for the month of October on Monday morning with a staggering reading of minus 35 degrees [-37.2˚C] … beating-out the previous record low of -33F (-36.1C) set way back in 1917“.

      Is looking like a cold/snowy US of A Halloween on the way possums pumpkins.

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    Here’s an article from a couple of years ago: Australian Eucalypts planted in California (planting began over 100 years ago) being blamed for the intensity of the wildfires that season:
    https://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/science-environment/2017/12/are-australian-eucalypts-to-blame-for-californias-wildfires/

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  • #
    TdeF

    The Flannery story of Gaia, the caring mother earth from Greek legend is utter rubbish. Greeks legends are not about nice gods and we are called the human race because it is a life and death competition. With the animals, with the vegetation, with the murderous planet itself. All you get is a truce, halcyon days.

    The Darwinian fight for genetic dominance is the reason for species extinction and all species go extinct, superseded, obsoleted, beaten, destroyed and at best like Neanderthals, absorbed. Except the carrion feeding sharks and crocodiles and turtles and lobsters after a good extinction event. No one is protesting the existence of asteroids and volcanoes and earthquakes and ice ages though. Apparently slight warming is the real enemy.

    So it is with trees. There are the long lived trees, the English oaks, plane trees, ash trees. Then there are the fast growing and explosive pine trees and new world gum trees. They conquer by rapid growth after a fire so they are filled with resins, gum, turpentine and they go up like Roman candles. Gum trees in particular hollow out and act as cannons, exploding hot ashes over a wide area. They were exported as saplings in the hundreds of thousands from 1850s to 1880s to dry California, Greece, Palestine, Israel, Spain, countries now with major bushfire problems.

    The enemies of trees? Other trees, especially long lived spreading European trees often propagated by roots plus burrowing insects and invasive birds. Perhaps their greatest enemies are the competitive grasses and some trees will directly kill grasses under their canopy or just deprive them of light.

    Strangely, apart from the ignorant Greens and forest worshipping druids, mankind is solidly on the side of the grasses simply because we cannot eat trees. Since the discovery of growing seeds and thus agriculture just 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, human populations have exploded on grass seeds.

    Then you get the symbiotic trees, the fruit trees of Asia symbiotic with monkeys in particular, but monkeys did not exist in Australia so our aborigines were almost completely carnivores and top predators. North America to Canada also had wide grassy plains and tall mountain ranges and few fruit trees. In fact monkeys rarely existed north of the equator and as most land is north of the equator fruit was rare. It was the possibly the transition from fruit trees to the plains which forced us to stand upright and drop the tails. Science is a very recent development but there are always those who are scared to leave the trees.

    The Greens would paint humans as the problem. But it can be the fire spreading trees and the violent planet, volcanoes, earthquakes and asteroids which really are dangerous. Don’t get me started on the Ents.

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    • #
      TdeF

      I have read that around the world there are fewer fires, because we put them out! And the fuel load just keeps growing.

      Greens ban mountain grazing. Greens even want to ban grass eating cows and sheep and camels and goats and presumably kangaroos and wallabies. Greens fight tree clearing. Green councils fine people who clear around their farms or houses even for safety, although farms require clearing.

      And then when the fires do come, the fuel load is so high that far from just being singed and coming back, the trees are killed outright. And all the ground animals. Total devastation brought to you by people who interfere with nature, the Greens.

      The 2003 devastating bushfire fire in a Canberra suburb should have been a salutary lesson for our politicians as a direct result of people fighting clearing even around houses in a modern planned city.

      “The Canberra city bushfires caused severe damage to the suburbs and outer areas of Canberra, the capital city of Australia”

      18–22 January 2003.

      “Almost 70% of the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) pastures, pine plantations, and nature parks were severely damaged, and most of the Mount Stromlo Observatory was destroyed. After burning for a week around the edges of the ACT, the fires entered the suburbs of Canberra on 18 January 2003. Over the next ten hours, four people died, over 490 were injured, and 470 homes were destroyed or severely damaged, requiring a significant relief and reconstruction effort.”

      but it won’t happen again. Will it?

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Well it appeared that the powers that be took ages to actually do something about the fire once it got close to canberra.

        One wonders what the root cause of the apparent delay to fight the fire might have actually been.

        There seems tobe a pretty strong gren influence on the gummint, so in some ways possibly expected behaviour?

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        • #
          OriginalSteve

          should read…

          “There seems to be a pretty strong green influence on the gummint, so in some ways possibly expected behaviour?”

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          • #
            Greg in NZ

            Thought ‘gren’ was the new word for green gremlins (plural grens).

            Gremlin: mischievous critter responsible for unexplained problem or fault; from goblin, ugly dwarflike creature.

            20

        • #
          PeterW

          Evidence was given at the subsequent inquiry that the fires were burning slowly under benign conditions.
          The local Captain proposed taking measures to extinguish them, but was denied permission by a RFS Manager in an office 50km away and over 1000 feet lower….. meaning that he had zero direct ability to assess conditions.

          The NSWRFS pulled out the universal “getoutofjail” card by claiming that the decision was made n “safety” grounds. Four people died, yet no-one was held accountable.

          That is my recollection. I was interested as I was working on the Western flank of that fire in subsequent days.

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      • #

        We were living in Canberra then. Cleaning gutters in Lyneham while watching the ominous clouds and listening to the news. Two friends lost everything in Duffy. They were at the movies in Woden oblivious, as the fire swept in. They had no idea their suburban house was in danger until the movie finished and they turned on the car radio. They sped home to find the roads were already blocked and the suburb on fire. Nothing saved. Not one wedding photo.

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      sophocles

      The Neanderthals were killed off, turned extinct, by the Laschamp magnetic reversal, 41000 YA.
      Homo sapiens carries a few Homo Neanderthalensis genes but only a few.

      30

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        I thought that they survived until about 30,000 years ago just before the height of the last glacial max.

        The expanding ice pushed them close to the equator. They were specifically adapted for cold climate life.

        KK

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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        sophocles:

        Rather more than a few. Yes, the average european has 4-5% Neanderthal genes but from anything up to about 30% choice. The one gene that didn’t get transmitted from the Neanderthals was that for red hair; red hair in european stock is due to a recessive gene (when doubled) which stops the conversion of naturally red hair into brown.

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    • #
      theRealUniverse

      Im not sure how much of the imported gum trees in CA contribute to its fires. Theres plenty in NZ too but not on large scale mainly wind breaks and in city parks and farmland. Luckily pretty hard to set fire to the NZ Podocarp or Nothofagus forest, its pretty wet..usually. Although the Maoris did manage to burn some of it pre European.

      20

    • #

      Hoom, Hoom….Ents you say, always had a soft spot for them Ents. But as for forests, they can be downright scary… the scariest tales of the Brothers Grimm all took place in the ancient forests of Europe: the Silva Carbonaria, Arduenna Silva and the Hercynean Forest! It was only them Entwives clearing the trees to plant their gardens that cleared the way for the expansion of European farming during the Medieval Warming, wasn’t it?

      10

  • #
    el gordo

    Flying Kites ahead of the fire front.

    30

  • #
    robert rosicka

    California could use the melting ice from the Arctic to put out all their fires or according to this Australia could put the whole country out if it was to suddenly catch fire .

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-30/melting-greenland-glaciers-weighed-by-australian-scientists/11630970

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      The theory is that warming causes ice blocks to fall into the ocean.

      The reality that ice “calving” is proportional to the amount of ice being deposited on the poles.

      Ice that is vertically stacked will always “flow” sideways towards the land edge.

      Even apparently solid things like gold bars and lead roof tiles will flow and give in to gravity over time.

      Naturally the IPCCCCC would not want it known that the Atmosphere has been cooling for the last 7000 years and the resultant polar ice accumulation is causing unprecedented ice block pollution of the oceans.

      I could introduce some sarcasm here about ice blocks causing rising sea levels but in deference to GA maybe it’s better left for now.

      KK

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  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    “This is not exactly an Ayn Rand operation.

    The state could have, if it wanted, pushed the utilities to focus on the resilience and safety of its current infrastructure — implicated in some of the state’s most fearsome recent fires — as a top priority.

    Instead, the commission forced costly renewable-energy initiatives on the utilities.

    Who cares about something as mundane as properly maintained power lines if something as supposedly epically important — and politically fashionable — as saving the planet is at stake?”

    https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/346777/#respond

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  • #
    OriginalSteve

    In case anyone was wondering……

    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6465083/mp-received-35000-donation-from-climate-change-advocate/?cs=14231

    Helen Haines received donation from advocate for action on climate change

    10

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Sorry…previous post #19 was incomplete and should read:

      ——————–

      In case anyone was wondering……

      https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6465083/mp-received-35000-donation-from-climate-change-advocate/?cs=14231

      “Helen Haines received donation from advocate for action on climate change

      “The son of a man dubbed Australia’s first billionaire has emerged as one of the biggest financial backers of Helen Haines’ winning election campaign this year.

      “Simon Holmes a Court, whose father was businessman and entrepreneur Robert Holmes a Court, has built a reputation as an advocate for tackling climate change and launched the Climate 200 group.

      “It was under this group’s name that Mr Holmes a Court donated $35,000 to the election campaign of Dr Haines as she took on the task of succeeding the outgoing Indi MP Cathy McGowan.

      “”The company was established in April, this year, to help the campaigns of election candidates supporting a science-based response to the climate emergency, and transparency in politics,” a spokesman for Dr Haines said.

      “The donation was made in two payments – $10,000 in late April and $25,000 early in May just before the election.

      20

      • #
        robert rosicka

        I know Getup were involved and god knows who else , the green force is strong with this greenie masquerading as an independent.
        If I heard the word “activism” once from her and her comrades I heard it a thousand times .
        If Sophie had of been given the flick way back this seat would still be in liberal or maybe national hands .

        30

      • #
        Dennis

        Years ago Daily Telegraph journalist Piers Akerman wrote that financing many Greens ventures are wealthy people who inherited their money, often naively supporting environmentalism and failing to see the far left politics of Australia’s Greens.

        And after all, it does sound a good idea to be locking up areas managed by National Parks & Wildlife for future generations, just don’t ask why the people here now cannot benefit from having more dams, extracting shale oil and gas, coal seam gas, coal and other minerals and energy or even timber locked away. Why in Tasmania the Labor-Green government at the time handed over State Forests set aside for sustainable logging for the timber industry and caused major closures of timber industry businesses.

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      • #
        theRealUniverse

        ‘“The son of a man dubbed Australia’s first billionaire has emerged as one of the biggest financial backers of Helen Haines’ winning election campaign this year.’
        Im sure this crap would have a much harder time if there werent these eco loon donors contributing to its support and ‘donations’ to loontard electoral candidates like her.

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  • #
    Ross

    I would not want to wish bad things on anyone but the way California is going it could in time be viewed with hindsight as the “the canary in the coalmine” that no one took any notice of. Wildfires, blackouts, two major utility companies now on the brink, dangerous and once eliminated diseases reappearing in the streets etc.etc.

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  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    Be Cautious with the Precautionary Principle: Evidence from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident

    https://www.nber.org/papers/w26395

    “the increase in mortality from higher electricity prices outnumbers the mortality from the accident itself, suggesting the decision to cease nuclear production has contributed to more deaths than the accident itself”

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    • #
      robert rosicka

      I’ve heard the deaths from the one in Russia according to the WHO is actually surprisingly low , because of the widespread dosing of iodine .

      30

  • #
    pat

    30 Oct: ABC: Dams benefit big irrigators, but cost communities, taxpayers, and the environment
    ABC Science By environment reporter Nick Kilvert
    “Someone is paying for those dams if they do get built, and it’s going to be the taxpayers of Australia,” said Professor Grafton, chairholder of the UNESCO Chair in Water Economics.
    “This is not about storing large amounts of water for communities, it’s about storing water for irrigation purposes.
    “It does stack up for the irrigators or the farmers … they clearly benefit, but there’s no benefit here in the national interest or the public interest. In fact, it’s just a waste of money.”…

    “You do the cost-benefit analysis on some of these dams…one of the largest dams we have in Australia is in fact on the Ord River,” he said.
    “That scheme there, which has been in play for decades now, for every dollar that was spent by the government, they got a 17 cent net return. So in other words [taxpayers are] out of pocket over 80 cents per dollar spent.”…

    The Chaffey Dam near Tamworth was at around 95 per cent capacity in late 2016. Three years later it’s at critical levels.
    Last Tuesday, Tamworth councillor Mark Rodda called on the local council to ask the water minister how the dam was depleted so quickly.
    His motion was defeated seven to one, with other councillors saying it was time to focus on the present and future, not the past, according to local media reports…

    While it’s tempting to fall for the logic that building more dams means more water for farmers, especially during drought, it’s just not the case according to (wetland and river management expert Richard Kingsford from UNSW)…
    “I think we can do a lot more with the water we’ve got if we’re more efficient.
    “It means some major changes in terms of a switch away from a focus on irrigated agriculture being the priority.”…
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-10-30/dams-irrigators-drought-environment/11585470

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    • #
      TdeF

      Amazingly silly comment.

      Of course dams are for growing crops and feeding animals. This is socialist drivel.

      Communities cannot exist without farmers. Universities could not exist without communities. Professors could not exist without farmers. Literally biting the hand that feeds them.

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      • #
        TdeF

        And what’s the $ return to the community on this professor’s salary? Or on the BOM, ABC, SBS, CSIRO? $60 Million a week for what?

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        • #
          TdeF

          Or the Vice Chancellors on $20,000 a week. Or the 2/3 of University salaries which go to non teaching staff? Can’t the professors organize a class? Or a timetable? What do these hundreds of thousands of people do?

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          • #
            sophocles

            What do these hundreds of thousands of people do?

            Surf the ‘net.

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            • #
              sophocles

              … and hold meetings …

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              • #
                sophocles

                When attending meetings outweighs surfing the ‘net, then the correct balance has been arrived at.

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              • #
                sophocles

                This is also when redundancies begin to appear. They are put off or delayed by rapid and intense rounds of curriculum development …

                30

              • #
                sophocles

                when they (redundancies) reappear after curriculum development has completed then it’s frantic Quality Control on all assessments.
                This circle can be repeated three times and then redundancies inevitably reappear.

                30

              • #
                sophocles

                It’s after the three-ring circuses that the sums are done and redundancy becomes financially attractive … like pay-the-mortgage-off-completely-attractive and staff begin to line up for redundancy … usually far more than management want. Oops.

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              • #
                theRealUniverse

                No they need to get certificates in how to use Outlook..

                20

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      “It means some major changes in terms of a switch away from a focus on irrigated agriculture being the priority.”…

      So an expert says just forget farming.

      We can just eat roots and leaves.

      And please, no bandicoot jokes.

      KK

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Any investment in dams would be a far more productive and positive contribution than the current money and spirit sapping ecologism that politicians and activists are using to strangle us.

      The debt and negative returns from Renewables are nicely hidden but as the U.S. is finding, the decommissioning of Renewables is a task best left for the “next” government that gets elected.

      Return wise any dam is going to beat polluting renewables hands down.

      KK

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    • #
      PeterW

      Dams would provide the average taxpayer far better value for money than the ABC, UNESCO and half the courses offered by Sydnev Uni.

      Just saying….

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    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      I just love this learned statement. So insightful. So precise:

      ” “The issue of towns running out of water is an issue of poor priority setting,” Professor Kingsford said.
      “We had a lot of water only three years ago, but that’s all gone and towns are running out of water. If you better looked after your towns as a priority and said, we’ve always got to have five years’ worth of water or 10 years’ of water for our towns [we wouldn't be in this situation].” ”

      It seems to me that these towns, and farmers have survived up to eight years of drought, none of which was forecast, and are only now in severe trouble.

      Cheers
      Dave B

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  • #
    Another Ian

    “Treating Atmospheric Apocalyptic Anxiety”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/10/29/treating-atmospheric-apocalyptic-anxiety/

    well, the thread is about California!

    00

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    Rhetorical Question:

    How much renewable energy must California use before California prevents its first “devil winds”?

    The Golden State is officially a third renewable, and it’s not stopping there

    California has passed its 33% renewable energy target two years before the 2020 deadline.

    https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2019/02/25/golden-state-is-officially-a-third-renewable-growth-not-stopping-though/

    Getty fire: ‘Extreme’ warning issued ahead of hurricane-force winds

    “In an ominous new warning, the National Weather Service issued a rare “extreme red flag warning” for Southern California through Thursday evening, saying winds could top 80 mph and be the strongest in more than a decade.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/getty-fire-e2-80-98extreme-e2-80-99-warning-issued-ahead-of-hurricane-force-winds/ar-AAJyr5v

    A. Check your energy bill, you’ve been diddled.

    10

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    Slightly O/T

    Just back from a Koala search around the margins of the now totally burnt Lake Cathie (the actual lake burnt as it had dried out over the last year), found a few, and handed them on to the Koala hospital people who were managing this activity.

    The fires are now flaring up again, and we were told to not put ourselves at further risk, so back home I came.

    Long time locals have never seen the lake dry up before, although apparently it did in the 30′s. What we have now a peat fires, and they are the very devil to extinguish.

    On the other hand – the so called ‘gold plating’ of our power to give N+1 (N=normal, +1 = double that via a separate system/component/pathway) meant that we did not lose power when the northern feeder was de-energised dy to the fire. Now you might not want to pay for such fripperies, but in the regions (where it is the most expensive to do) we appreciate it.

    As to the use of prescribed burns. In this area both slashing and burning are used, the slashing worked better as it produced lots of new green foliage, mostly herbaceous, which does not take as well was half burnt, dry dead scrub. The slashing is done around the margins of the conservation areas, and is what protected the homes near the actual lake.

    102

    • #
      RicDre

      Peter Fitzroy, I’m glad to hear you made it back home safely.

      80

    • #

      The koalas also made the news. One of the healthier populations until the fires.

      23

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        The big problem is that healthy juveniles have over the last few years been used to restock the population around here, with the aim of improving genetic diversity. These have speed and youth on their side, but lack awareness about the dangers of suburban life (mostly dogs and cars). The koala hospital gang will take care of the ones we found, and if (a big if) it rains they will be reintroduced.

        In other news the wind is up again, and the aerial ballet is back in full swing.

        64

        • #
          Peter Fitzroy

          Back to “watch and act” or Level 2
          Fire is 400 meters (by google) to the west of my house now, but moving away.
          Both Ocean Drive, and the Ghost road are closed, and only residents are allowed into the village. So I’m down to N=1 as an escape route (south to Laurieton). Give the nature of the fire, that option might not last

          I’ll be ignoring exerable Lance from now on, he can play in the corner with his “pedants rule’ cap for all I care

          33

    • #
      Lance

      N+1 is not “double that”.

      N+1 means that a component in a system has an equivalent fallback element. That is not double.

      It is replacing the failed component via another equivalent element.

      It does Not mean that “double the power” or “double the bandwidth” exists.

      It means there exists a workaround for a failed element. Very different. Not “double the capacity” but re routing existing capacity.

      50

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        Lance you are right, and in typing quickly, I was not as clear as you would like. I did include my definition “via a separate system/component/pathway”. I’m sorry that I could not please your pedantry

        Can you explain why “equivalent fallback element” is not double

        Also note I did not mention power or bandwidth you pedantic a**

        26

      • #
        Lance

        In an N+1 generation network, lets say that there are 10 each, 500 MW generating plants and 2 independent transmission lines to a node.

        In case 1, Feeder 1 fails and Feeder 2 reroutes existing generation to the node. No additional generation ever existed, it was simply switched.

        In case 2, there are 10 generating plants and one reserve plant kept hot spinning standby. If one of the 10 plants fails and the 11th plant energizes, the system is still at original capacity, but for the duration of the downtime on the tripped plant, the total generating capacity is still N=10 but now there is no +1 because it is an N+0 net system until the failed plant is repaired.

        Let’s not bandy about generating capacity or tie line feeders as being “double” anything.

        They are statistically and capacity limited work arounds to stabilize an existing system at minimum projected cost within the bounds of the reliability model deemed appropriate to the task.

        90

        • #
          Peter Fitzroy

          Just apologise

          010

          • #
            Lance

            You rirst. I’m correct, you are delusional.

            110

            • #
              Peter Fitzroy

              Can you explain why “equivalent fallback element” is not double

              If you had any cojones you would admit that I did not say double power, or double bandwidth. But no, all your integrity drained out of you with your “you rirst”

              /Pompous A**clown

              011

              • #
                OriginalSteve

                It all started out well and then something triggered poor behaviour….

                Lance is right – N+1 doenst mean double, it just means an alternate feed. If you had 2 feeds to start with, it means you have 3 available, but the extra feed only kicks in if you lose one, so all the “+1″ does is replace the lost feed.

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              • #
                sophocles

                Yes it does, but if and only if in the Special Case instance when N = 1

                40

              • #
                Peter Fitzroy

                IF you had understood my post, then you would have understood why I used the word double, and why I had ‘gold plating’ in the post as well.

                But as always, as all good nitpicking pedants know, the most fun can be had when a word is used to describe something that does not reflect the technical meaning.

                To recap for you are all truly dumb

                1. the network over a number of years was upgraded.
                2. the right wing calls this ‘gold plating’
                3. I used the term N+1 in the sense that we had alternative interconnected feeds in case we lost one (we only have 2 though)
                4. We lost one of the feeds, de-energised due to the fire.
                5. We did not lose power.
                6. Demostatably this upgrading is not ‘gold plating’

                DO YOU UNDERSTAND YET?

                OR would you rather waste time on the english equivalent of 200 decimal places for the value of pi

                /Thuck as (to quote a NZ mate

                16

              • #
                AndyG55

                Yep, you sure as THUCK AS, PF

                STOP digging yourself deeper and deeper, fool !!

                You really SHOULD apologise to Lance, you know. !!

                60

              • #
                AndyG55

                You used the WRONG terminology, PF and was picked up on it..

                APOLOGISE to Lance for being an ill-mannered ass-hat !!

                61

              • #

                Yeah, why bother being correct (you know, what is referred to as ‘pedantic’) when you can just you know, go with the vibe of it, and then make up what you expect people think you meant, and then express faux outrage, when they take you word for word on exactly what you said.

                Man, you fly off the handle over nothing, and for the sake of it, I’m sure.

                See how your total lack of knowledge on matters regarding electrical power gets you into so much trouble. If it was me, I would be so embarrassed, I’d just shut up. You just bore straight back in. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why.

                Tony.

                80

              • #
                Peter Fitzroy

                Tony, my comment was about network reliability, and how good it is. You and the others obviously take it for granted, which is why you excoriate me on what is really a minor point.
                After 10 years in ecology, I moved to design and planning in IT, and the least 10 years as a IT planner/project manager with Essential Energy.

                So these comments are extremely insulting, since you are assuming two things, both of which you do not follow.

                1. You assume that I am stupid about topics you consider to be your special power
                2. You insist that only professionals are allowed to comment in topics relating to their specialty.

                So I answered point one with the resume, for point 2 – I did not know you were also a professional political scientist (upthread), specialising in California.

                15

              • #
                AndyG55

                “1. You assume that I am stupid about topics

                And you keep showing he is correct in his assumption.

                2. You insist that only professionals are allowed to comment

                Of course you are allowed to comment,

                just learn to realise that you are invariably PROVEN WRONG,

                and stop your pitiful digging, digging, digging and making matters worse for yourself.

                You know a lot less than you think you know,

                … and what you do think you know is mostly erroneous garbage.

                10

              • #
                AndyG55

                “After 10 years in ecology,”

                I guessing you HAD to leave because your rabid inner-hated of CO2, which provides for all life on Earth.

                Wow, all the things you SAY you have done, you must be an OWM, (old white man)

                … and from your many comments, must utterly HATE yourself because of it.

                10

              • #
                Bill in Oz

                There are times when it’s best to let things go through to the keeper.
                When we are facing crisis like a fire near our home,
                When we’ve been out there trying to control the fire
                When we’ve been out saving the victims of a fire like Koalas..
                These are all times of major stress and crisis.
                Now is not the time to criticise Peter Fitzroy..
                Let it go blokes…

                10

              • #
                Bill in Oz

                Peter, take time out mate
                Find a friend
                & a wine or a beer.
                Those of us who disagree with you
                Will still be here waiting when you come back refreshed.
                I’ve been where you are on a couple of occasions.
                T’is not good !

                10

              • #
                Kalm Keith

                Bill,

                Given everything that’s happened at the hands of PF there’s a Big question.

                Can you believe his comments.

                For all we know he might still be living in Kogarah.

                If things were so bad, how does he get the time and energy to come to argue and abuse people on this blog.

                Bushfire threat demands real focus that seems to be missing here.

                KK

                00

              • #
                Bill in Oz

                Keith, you are assuming that because
                wWe disagree with him about climate Change etc.
                He is lying when he talks about a fire near to his home.
                And is in a fit state to be abused and criticised.
                I do not make that assumption Keith.
                And what doe it matter in the long term
                Just to ket things go through to the keeper
                For a while ?

                10

              • #
                Kalm Keith

                Bill,

                He has Never been here to discuss, learn or involve himself in developing understanding.

                It’s always been about disruption and abuse.

                Cold blooded damage to Jo’s blog.

                KK

                01

              • #
                AndyG55

                PF says he is spending time to battle bushfires..

                Commendable if true.

                But WHY would he choose to take his break time posting here ?

                Quite bizarre, and speaks volumes to his mental dysfunctionality.

                20

          • #
            Mark D.

            do you even know the meaning????

            70

            • #
              Peter Fitzroy

              you got anything concrete to add, or is cheerleading all you are up for?

              27

              • #
                AndyG55

                PF. you are making a FOOL of yourself .. yet again

                You MUST learn to stop digging yourself in when you are obviously WRONG..

                ie… basically ALWAYS !!

                70

              • #
                robert rosicka

                Fitz you’ve come a long way , last year you thought you were paying .12 cents kWh for electricity and now you’re an expert on electricity distribution.
                A man of many talents but majored in bs .

                60

              • #
                Annie

                Peter, if you are able to, under the present circumstances, try to rest. It sounds as though you are in a very tense situation re. the fires. I hope you remain safe at this time.

                30

  • #
    Clyde Spencer

    “By some estimates, many of the state’s forests have up to 100 times the amount of small trees and underbrush than what grew prior to white settlement.”

    Something that isn’t generally appreciated today is that logging started and maintained the California Gold Rush. Sutter needed lumber for his growing fort in what later became Sacramento, the state’s capitol. He hired Marshall to build a lumber mill on the American River. Marshall discovered a gold nugget in the tail race of the mill. Thus began the famous Gold Rush. Once the Gold rush and mining was in full bloom, lumber was needed for buildings. Lumber was needed for heating fuel, steam engines, and to run smelters. Lumber was needed for bridges, flumes, sluices, and small dams. Often an entire river course was diverted with wooden flumes! Once underground mining started, timbers were needed for the head-frames, shafts and tunnels. Lumbering was an important industry supporting the mining. Needless to say, lumbering changed the character of the forests. All the big trees were removed and much of the under-story was thinned for access and heating fuel. So, at the beginning of the 20th century, the forests were much thinner than they were when the 49ers first arrived. It took awhile for the forests to regrow. Without the Native Americans purposely setting fires, and later the White settlers suppressing fires, the forest that grew back was a disaster waiting to happen.

    Even during the time of the thinning of the forests, fires were so common that an architecture unique to the Mother Lode was developed. Buildings were made of local stone or fired brick, and were fitted with non-flammable roofs, iron doors, and iron shutters over the windows. Today, the homes that are being built aren’t being built with concern about being fire resistant.

    It isn’t climate change that is responsible for recent fires. It is irresponsible behavior of large numbers of people moving into natural tinder boxes, and not building in a manner to reduce risk.

    100

    • #
      PeterW

      Logging may remove big old trees, but don’t blame logging for the poor management and high stem-densities of subsequent regrowth

      Australia’s redgum forests are a case in point. Original densities were I the order of 4-8 trees per hectare. Now they are at least ten times that number due to “wheatfield germination events ( often prompted by rain or flood flowing fire or drought).

      Refusal to thin or burn those super-dense stands has created disease-prone forests that become stressed in dry weather….. in a continent notorious for its droughts.

      80

      • #
        Greg in NZ

        Heard a news clip on the radio driving home, about CO₂ causing more bush fires or sump-think nonsense, so now I’m home…

        “What was quite surprising is that some of the areas that currently wouldn’t currently be perceived as high fire risk will see quite dramatic increases in the future… New Zealand’s fire season had previously been considered to be October to April at its longest, but Mr Pearce said it was expected to start earlier and extend longer with climate change“. Except when it doesn’t, like this year’s cold snowy October.

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/382242/climate-change-expected-to-cause-dramatic-increases-in-fire-risk

        “Traditionally, people have thought there is a Northern Hemisphere fire season and a Southern Hemisphere fire season and it would be relatively easy to shift people and equipment backwards and forwards but I guess with climate change there’s also potential for the fringe seasons to expand out and overlap. It could mean that we end up with major fires in both parts of the world at the same time.” Like, that ain’t never happened before? Say it ain’t so!

        “In forestry, highly flammable species of trees like eucalyptus could be avoided. But the trend world wide was for fires to impact more on people and property, he said” [originally published Feb 2019 during the peak of our arsonist fire season].

        60

        • #
          theRealUniverse

          Earlier I mentioned the highly NON flammability of NZ Podocarp/ Nothofagus forest in general unless its pretty dry. Most burns in NZ are in the dry east SI, like Nelson/CHCH or NI odd spot.

          10

          • #
            sophocles

            the Province of Marlborough, the central to eastern area of the northern South Island. Where all the grapes are grown *hic*

            00

            • #
              Greg in NZ

              * central eastern northern South *

              I know exactly where you mean yet I’m sure hundreds are scratching their heads over your kayway vino lingo hic.

              Back in thee olde days, the Canterbury Plains (farther south) weren’t called the Rakaia Desert for nought.

              00

  • #
    pat

    read all:

    Updated 29 Oct: NBC San Diego: Residents Survey Damage From Getty Fire as Arson Investigators Probe Cause
    The Getty Fire began early Monday in the hills west of Los Angeles’ 405 Freeway
    By Shahan Ahmed and Jonathan Lloyd; City News Service contributed to this report
    Mayor Eric Garcetti said the fire was not the result of a homeless encampment or any activity by homeless people in the area.
    “That’s not what started this but we have an active investigation right now,” he said. “I can’t share much more than that today.”…

    Actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also tweeted that he evacuated…

    More than 4,870 wildfires have burned nearly 47,000 acres through mid-October in California. Last year, more than 5,100 fires burned a historic 631,900 acres during that same period. California’s five-year average through Oct. 13 is 5,109 fires and 372,344 acres burned…
    https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/california/Evacuations-Ordered-Near-Getty-Center-LA–563969391.html

    30

  • #
    mem

    This is slightly off topic but can anyone enlighten me as to whether this is just more renewables to be foisted upon us or will we get some new clean coal power? As far as I can tell Morrison is beholden to the Green blob and is just Malcolm Turnbull in a bigger suit.

    Power reliability will get a $1 billion boost as part of the Liberal National Government’s plan to ensure Australian households, businesses and industries get a fair deal on energy.

    The Liberal National Government will establish a $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund to support Government investment in new energy generation, storage and transmission infrastructure, including eligible projects shortlisted under the Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) program.

    The new $1 billion fund will be administered by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), drawing on the energy and financial markets expertise that has seen the CEFC invest more than $7 billion in clean energy since its establishment in 2012. The Fund represents the first new capital provided to the CEFC since it began. https://www.pm.gov.au/media/1-billion-boost-power-reliability

    60

    • #
      pat

      mem -

      ABC has Tristan say $1bn is not enough – could pay for just a single project! you know it ain’t coal:

      AUDIO: 3min5sec: 30 Oct: ABC AM: Billion dollar fund to boost nationwide power reliability
      By Georgia Hitch on AM
      Featured:
      Angus Taylor, Energy Minister
      Tristan Edis, director, Green Energy Markets
      https://www.abc.net.au/radio/adelaide/programs/am/billion-dollar-fund-to-boost-nationwide-power-reliability/11652398

      30

    • #

      mem,

      it’s more renewables only.

      The rest is just ‘mouths being moved’ in a manner similar to what you see with puppetry.

      It has zero to do with reliability, and zero to do with lowering the cost, and zero to do with a fair deal.

      They also want to build their renewables wherever they want, and it’s then, umm, the State’s responsibility to construct the transmission infrastructure to get them connected to the grid, and hey that’s not a cost that’s anything to do with the cost of renewables, as we can still provide our power at a penny a GigaWattHour.

      I was also attempting to chase up information regarding Macarthur Wind, you know the largest wind plant in Australia, and how it has had zero output so often in recent times, including the last 20 consecutive hours. (Nothing found, I mean shh, don’t even mention it. I did once, but I think I got away with it)

      In chasing that up, I saw information on the Stockyard Hill Wind Plant. It will have a Nameplate of 530MW, so it will take over as the largest wind plant in the Country once it is completed. The same article mentioned that it will have a Capacity Factor of 45%, (seriously) and will replace the output of the now closed Hazelwood.

      The current CF (not proposed but actual) of 30% makes this an equivalent 160MW, and Hazelwood was 1600MW, so I think someone just didn’t see that extra zero.

      Incidentally, you know, keeping in mind how everywhere has a 2030 Target for 50% renewables, this Stockyard Wind Plant was originally proposed in 2010, so lead times here are something I guess we don’t need to be aware of, you know they’ll just magically all just ‘pop up’ in time.

      Talk talk talk, that’s all you’ll get.

      ‘Grid Reliability Fund’….. Give me strength!

      Tony.

      140

      • #
        Serp

        Spot on TonyfromOz.

        Exaggeration of CF is commonplace now what with Macarthur’s near 30% regularly being headlined at 35% but the claim for Stockyard Hill to come in at 45% simply underlines the unscrupulousness of its boosters –the day cannot be far off when we’ll be reading of 110% Capacity Factors on the newest generation of wind turbines. I thought we lived in a society which prosecuted those who gain financial advantage by deception but apparently when talking renewables such statutes do not apply.

        80

      • #
        theRealUniverse

        Yep a windy farm is gonna produce 1600MW 365/24/7 yup…Math..whats that when it comes to a eco-loontard.

        40

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Tony why is NSW battling low reserve warnings so early in the summer ?

        10

    • #
      Chad

      No sign of more coal power yet, but something will need to happen soon !
      Things seem tohave been a little tight with power supplies yesterday around the evening peak of 5-7pm such tat SA had to fire up their “emergency” diesel fueled mobile generators based down at the PE Holden site. After the wind died and the sun had set.
      NSW and Vic were sucking in everything QLD and Tas could supply, so SA had no options left.
      Maybe tony or Robber can tell us exactly how close to blackouts SA were ?

      60

      • #
        Chad

        I should have added,..but it is obvious anyway…
        …..no amount of new solar or “high CF” wind generators..will help cover or prevent that situation reoccurring…if the wind dies after sunset !!

        40

    • #
      Serp

      That’s another energy quango to wind up, the CEFC; its focus is entirely on renewables and in this case it appears there will be a billion spent on futile upgrades to renewable plants’ grid connections.

      We’re crying out for reliable power, that is coal fired, and there is not a single state government prepared to listen as all hasten to decommission the existing plants and embark on suicidal renewable percentage increases –as if that technology was economic or fit for purpose.

      Australia has no future until this political disease is cured.

      60

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Good.
        There is no more important task than Confronting this Renewable Energy thing and building modern coal fired generators.

        Australia is a laughing stock.

        KK

        40

    • #
      • #
        Dennis

        29th November, 2004 – Turnbull lures a swarm of cheerleaders to fill the gallery for his maiden parliamentary speech, using free canapés & cocktails, and a convoy of coaches from Sydney. Total cost = $20,000+

        One woman confessed she had never caught a bus before, but made the exception for
        Turnbull, reassured that the person sitting next to her would be “clean”. Another female member of the cheer squad was even reported to have “fainted” upon Turnbull’s mere arrival, and this apparent ‘rock star’ moment conveniently made its way into the media.33,34

        Interestingly, among Turnbull’s merry band, was one Scott Morrison.35

        Source: stopturnbull website

        50

  • #
    pat

    lengthy, plenty worth reading:

    29 Oct: LA Times: How do wildfires start and spread?
    By Joseph Serna, Rong-Gong Lin II, James F. Peltz
    Mostly, they’re caused by humans — by our own activity or our equipment. A study published in 2017 found that 84% of U.S. wildfires were caused by human related activity; the remaining 16% were caused by lightning. About 95% of fires the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection responds to are caused by humans…
    https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-10-29/how-do-wildfires-start

    30

  • #
    pat

    arson may not be a major cause of wildfires, but worth noting:

    28 Oct: WashingtonExaminer: Missouri man charged with starting 13 forest fires in California
    by Madison Dibble
    Freddie Graham, 68, was apprehended before boarding a plane in San Jose and charged with starting forest fires in the Milpitas foothills. Graham had flown to California on Sept. 19 and spent two days in the state before attempting to fly back to Kansas City.
    The fires in question burned 128 acres. Graham was charged with 15 counts of committing arson, two of which were heightened charges because the fires were started during a declared emergency…

    After landing in California, Graham rented a vehicle to drive out to at-risk areas, authorities say, and was caught after a concerned citizen saw the vehicle near a fire and reported the license plate.
    “The fires were set with a lighter, setting pieces of paper on fire and then throwing it out the window of the car,” said Supervising Deputy District Attorney for Santa Clara County Bud Porter. “But for that good Samaritan coming forward with the license plate, this crime probably would never have been solved.”

    Graham is currently behind bars with a bail of $500,000. He could spend as long as 22 years in jail if found guilty for starting the fires during a declared emergency…
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/missouri-man-charged-with-starting-13-forest-fires-in-california

    two very minor examples:

    28 Oct: Sacramento Bee: Woman arrested in suspected Sonoma arson fire, unrelated to wildfires, sheriff says
    By Michael McGough
    Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick confirmed during a Monday press conference that a woman was arrested on suspicion of arson in the city of Sonoma, but he said the incident appeared to be a domestic dispute and not an effort to intentionally start a wildfire…
    The Sonoma Index-Tribune reported that the apparent arson fire burned at least five vehicles and leveled two structures, including one home, but had been extinguished as of 7 a.m. Sheriff’s Office spokesman Spencer Crum told the Index-Tribune that an arson team was investigating the incident…

    Sonoma is in south Sonoma County, about 30 miles from Windsor, where aggressive fire activity was reported Sunday as part of the Kincade Fire.
    The Kincade Fire ignited late Wednesday night in the hills east of Geyserville in north Sonoma County. As of Monday morning, it had spread to more than 66,000 acres amid historically gusty conditions that plagued much of Northern California
    https://www.sacbee.com/news/california/fires/article236736563.html

    26 Oct: PressEnterprise: Corona woman on probation for arson is accused of setting another fire
    by Brian Rokos
    https://www.pe.com/2019/10/26/corona-woman-on-probation-for-arson-is-accused-of-setting-another-fire/

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    • #
      pat

      2 Oct: SanDiegoUnionTribune: Man arrested on suspicion of starting fires in forest land
      OROVILLE, Calif. — Authorities in Northern California have arrested a man suspected of starting multiple fires in forest land in Butte County during a state of emergency last month.
      The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says 35-year-old Jeremy Gendreau, of Oroville, was arrested Tuesday following a joint investigation involving the Butte County District Attorney’s Office, California State Parks, Oroville Police and Cal Fire.
      Cal Fire says investigators began looking at Gendreau after receiving an anonymous tip through the agency’s arson hotline. He is being held on $1.95 million bail.

      Gendreau allegedly started multiple fires in the Oroville area in September, when hot, dry and windy weather throughout Northern California led to planned power outages and some officials declaring a state of emergency
      https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/california/story/2019-10-02/man-arrested-on-suspicion-of-starting-fires-in-forest-land

      10

  • #
    pat

    28 Oct: San Francisco Chronicle: Why so many fires when PG&E power was off? Here’s what we know
    by Jason Fagone
    Here’s what we know so far…READ ON
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/california-wildfires/article/Why-so-many-fires-when-PG-E-power-was-off-14570067.php

    20

  • #
    pat

    29 Oct Updated 30 Oct: Bloomberg: Offshore Wind Gets a Warning From Its Biggest Developer
    By Will Mathis and Christian Wienberg
    The world’s biggest developer of offshore wind farms issued a reality check to the industry, saying it has overestimated the amount of time its turbines are generating electricity.
    Copenhagen-based Orsted A/S announced that offshore wind farms wouldn’t produce quite as much power as previously forecast. The adjustment could shave millions of dollars of revenue a year off each project. It’s also a warning to other developers who may have used similar analysis to estimate the economics of their projects…

    “Our findings point to a higher negative effect on production than earlier models had predicted,” Orsted’s Chief Financial Officer Marianne Wiinholt said on a call with reporters. “This is not a a major setback for the industry at all. The industry will still grow. We are more competitive than gas or coal.”
    Shares in Orsted sank as much as 10% in Copenhagen after the news, which came a day ahead of the company’s planned release of its financial statement…

    The change will drop what’s called the lifetime load factor to ***48%, down from a range of 48%-50%…
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-29/orsted-sinks-as-company-slashes-outlook-and-warns-of-job-cuts

    ***48%???

    Capacity factors at Danish offshore wind farms
    http://energynumbers.info/capacity-factors-at-danish-offshore-wind-farms

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    pat

    unbearable (ABC & King & ABC quoting Guardian):

    AUDIO: 10min25sec: 30 Oct: ABC Breakfast: Emissions panel convenes to examine new ways to meet targets
    The Federal Government will today announce a $1 billion fund for new energy generation projects in order to help make the grid more reliable.
    Behind the scenes, the Government also called together a panel of experts to look into new ways of lowering greenhouse gas emissions and expanding the Emissions Reduction Fund.
    Guest: Grant King, outgoing president, Business Council of Australia and chairman, Government panel
    https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/emissions-panel-convenes-to-examine-new-ways-to-meet-targets/11652320

    Great Barrier Reef Foundation: Grant King (Board)
    Grant has extensive experience in the Australian energy industry. He was Managing Director of Origin Energy Limited from February 2000 until his retirement in October 2016. He was formerly General Manager, AGL Gas Companies where he held a number of management positions over a 17 year period.
    Grant was elected President of the Business Council of Australia in November 2016…
    He also holds a position as Professor of Energy Engineering in the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering at the University of NSW and runs his own advisory business, GK Advisory Pty Ltd…
    https://www.barrierreef.org/the-foundation/our-governance/grant-king

    29 Oct: 9News: AAP: Environmental protection laws under review
    A once-in-a-decade review of the nation’s environmental protection laws has kicked into gear, as the responsible minister flags the need for less “green tape”.
    It will be led by former competition watchdog chairman Graeme Samuel, who will release a discussion paper next month…

    ***(Environment Minister Sussan) Ley also announced more than $100 million of the nearly $444 million funding to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation will be used on projects to improve water quality…

    On Monday, more than 240 scientists penned an open letter to the government urging the laws to be strengthened, highlighting the number of native species at risk of extinction…
    https://www.9news.com.au/national/nation-s-environment-laws-set-for-review/bd4771f0-0baf-45ea-b6f9-99decc302eab

    28 Oct: EnviroLawsOpenLetter: An open letter to the Prime Minister from 248 concerned scientists
    Sadly, our work also tells us Australia is amid an extinction crisis…
    Our extinction crisis is primarily a result of habitat destruction, invasive species, altered fire regimes, disease and climate change damage…
    This open letter was coordinated by the Australian Conservation Foundation, with advertising paid for by the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Places You Love Alliance.
    Signatories
    https://www.envirolawsopenletter.com.au/

    PlacesYouLoveAlliance: Alliance organisations
    http://www.placesyoulove.org/who-we-are/alliance-organisations/

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  • #
    pat

    26 Oct: CatholicNewsAgency: Church Must Convert from Cultural, Ecological Sins, Amazon Synod Concludes
    by Courtney Mares and Hannah Brockhaus
    Vatican City – The Amazon synod final document, published Saturday, laid out the need to define “ecological sins” while calling the Church to walk new paths of “integral conversion.”
    “We propose to define ecological sins of commission or omission against God, one’s neighbor, the community and the environment,” paragraph 82 of the final document states. “They are sins against future generations and are manifest in acts and habits of pollution and destruction of the harmony of the environment.”
    “No believer, no Catholic can live their life of faith without listening to the voice of the earth,” Bishop David Martínez de Aguirre Guinea, apostolic vicar of Puerto Maldonado, Peru explained at a press conference to present the final document Oct. 26…
    https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/church-must-convert-from-cultural-ecological-sins-amazon-synod-concludes-88406

    lengthy, but doesn’t appear to be the full 33-page final document:

    VaticanNews: Amazon Synod: The Church committed to be an ally with Amazonia
    Five chapters, plus an introduction and a brief conclusion: the Final Document of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region was released on the evening of 26 October, by the express will of the Pope. The document deals with a wide variety of topics, including mission, inculturation, integral ecology, defence of the indigenous peoples, an Amazonian rite, the role of women, and new ministries, especially in areas where access to the Eucharist is lacking.
    https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2019-10/amazon-synod-final-document.html

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    John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia

    I once lived in LA (Pacific Palasades, loc between Santa Monica & Malibu) where the Santa Ana winds roared through at this time of year accompanied by wind driven fires in the San Gabriel Mountains and canyons.
    The Beach Boys actually wrote a song (you can find it on Youtube), titled the Santa Ana Winds (Intro and first verse):

    [Intro]
    Here in Southern California there is a weather condition known as the Santa Ana Winds

    Fire wind
    Oh desert wind
    She was born in a desert breeze
    And wind her way
    Through Canyon Way
    From the desert to the silvery sea
    In every direction
    See the perfection
    And see the San Gabriel Mountain scene

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  • #
    Robber

    Watch Victoriastan follow Commiefornia.
    In the coming summer, on days declared total fire bans, (normally very hot with strong winds), watch as the government mandates the switching off of the electricity grid in fire prone areas.
    This will achieve two outcomes: the first is the reduced risk of power lines crashing and starting bush fires, and the second is that it will ease the demand on the generators – as Victoria is forecast to likely require brownouts on hot days when electricity demand soars.
    Peak summer demand across AEMO rises to 34 GW, compared to current peak demands of around 25 GW.

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  • #
    robert rosicka

    Apparently Cannavan stormed into Morrison office and upped him over the non decision of a coal fired power plant in Collinsville .
    The argument is supposed to have gotten out of hand and even included swearing , go Matt and what the hell have we done with Morrison.

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  • #
    pat

    PM’s $1bn energy bet should include ‘clean coal’
    The Australian – 2 hours ago
    New clean energy initiative should widen to take in “clean coal”, says Collinsville indigenous power project CEO….

    30 Oct: 7News: AAP: Central Qld coal study early next year
    by Daniel McCulloch
    The federal government has finally stamped a timeline on an election commitment that has sparked heated discussions between senior ministers.
    Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has confirmed a feasibility study for a central Queensland coal-fired power station will take place early next year.

    Mr McCormack denied the government had been dragging its feet over the $10 million Collinsville study, saying the company involved was still collating information about the project.
    “It’s only been five months since we’ve been re-elected,” he told Sky News on Wednesday.
    “I would say it would be probably early in the new year, it’s already nearly November, so that’s only a couple of months away. That’s a fairly good timeline.”

    Resources Minister Matt Canavan recently clashed with Scott Morrison about the Collinsville study, over concerns the prime minister’s office had imposed a “go slow” on progressing the business case.
    “He’s very passionate, Matthew, and I commend him for that,” Mr McCormack said, adding he and the minister also had “very good, meaningful and productive” talks about the Collinsville project.

    Energy Minister Angus Taylor said it would be up to investors to determine whether the project went ahead.
    “It is a simple principle,” Mr Taylor told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday.
    “We strongly encourage private sector investors to work up projects and get on with it, and we’ll provide as little as we have to, but we must get that supply into the market place to put downward pressure on wholesale prices.”

    Shine Energy, an indigenous traditional owner company, is seeking to build the plant at an expected cost of $2 billion, creating about 2000 jobs.
    https://7news.com.au/politics/central-qld-coal-study-early-next-year-c-530483

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  • #
    pat

    29 Oct: New Daily: Scott Morrison and Matt Canavan in heated ruckus
    by Samantha Maiden
    Matt Canavan is accused of confronting the Prime Minister during a closed-door meeting over a new coal-fired generator at Collinsville, in central Queensland.
    According to some reports, the blow-up was so loud that the Resources Minister could be heard down the hallway.
    “I don’t go into details of conversations with my colleagues. But, yep, guilty as charged. I passionately and forcefully argue for the great things the coal industry does for our nation,” Senator Canavan told The New Daily…
    Queensland MPs Phil Thompson and Michelle Landry could hear the exchange from the hallway.

    Despite the Prime Minister’s waving of a lump of coal around Parliament in 2017, some Queensland MPs are worried Mr Morrison’s office is concerned the embrace of coal is a political problem.
    Mr Morrison is accused of being on a go-slow over the feasibility study for a coal-fired generator in Collinsville, a project Senator Canavan believes is vital.
    “Without coal we will lose Australian manufacturing jobs,’’ Senator Canavan said…

    Mr Morrison said it was a good project but the government wanted to apply due diligence and a proper process.
    “We expect that process should be concluded towards the end of this year and that would enable us to then consider what [the] next steps are, in terms of whether it is Collinsville or other,” he said.
    “The Collinsville project is a very good project but it needs to go through the same process as all the others. That is the integrity that Australians would expect.”
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/10/29/matt-canavan-scott-morrison-coal/

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    pat

    30 Oct: AFR: Powering down on energy politics
    by Jennifer Hewett
    Angus Taylor and Grant King are both happy to describe Australia’s commitment to the Paris target for emissions reduction as a floor rather than a ceiling.
    “We would all love to exceed that floor and go well beyond it,” King says. “Why wouldn’t the government want to see whether one of the mechanisms for reducing emissions is working as effectively and efficiently as possible?”
    So King is heading a panel of four policy and business experts to look at the workings of the Emissions Reduction Fund as part of its transition to a new $2 billion Climate Solutions Fund – both of which pay bidders to provide carbon abatement at the lowest possible price…
    According to the Federal Energy Minister, it’s all about “getting the best bang for the buck” from the new $2 billion fund…

    The government also announced on Wednesday an additional $1 billion for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to back projects to help stabilise and support the power grid. This is part of its plan to back investment in “firming” power permanently available to ensure the energy system remains stable as well as reliable when the generation of wind and solar power is low or non-existent.
    “It is no secret that the National Electricity Market is under pressure,” Taylor says. “This fund is designed to tackle that and is part of a suite of initiatives that the government is delivering to ensure when people flick the switch, the lights come on and stay on.”

    The new CEFC-administered “grid reliability fund” will centralise the government’s financial support for new generation and storage from sources such as batteries, pumped hydro and gas, as well as some of the investment needed to upgrade transmission networks.
    But the money is primarily designed to provide a form of a banking facility or guarantee designed to unlock additional private sector investment, mainly by underwriting new dispatchable generation projects.

    This includes underwriting most of the 12 projects the government has already shortlisted for federal backing, although it is still negotiating the details of this with the individual companies selected. All involve pumped hydro or gas projects in Victoria, NSW, South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland with the one exception of the upgrade of a coal-fired power station in NSW.

    Turnbull: ‘a one out of two’
    This upgrade will now be supported via a different mechanism given the mandate – not to mention the name – of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. But the original vision for the CEFC has been largely rendered redundant by the extraordinary growth in wind and solar power since its establishment by the Labor government…
    A key factor to ensure the fund’s success, (Turnbull) says, will be “zero emissions electricity, deliverable by renewables plus storage including pumped hydro” and “electrification of the economy esp[sic] transport, heating, cooling” and with “more transmission vital”…
    https://www.afr.com/companies/energy/powering-down-on-energy-politics-20191030-p535tw

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    • #
      pat

      Dept of the Environment & Energy: Climate Solutions Fund – Emissions Reduction Fund
      On 25 February 2019 the Australian Government established a Climate Solutions Fund to provide an additional $2 billion to continue purchasing low-cost abatement, build on the success of the Emissions Reduction Fund and continue the momentum to reach Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction target. The additional funding ensures Australian farmers, businesses and Indigenous communities continue to have opportunities to undertake emissions reduction projects that provide local benefits.

      Activities supported through the Emissions Reduction Fund provide important environmental, economic, social and cultural benefits for farmers, businesses, landholders, Indigenous Australians and communities. The Emissions Reduction Fund is established on the principles of reducing emissions at lowest cost and purchasing genuine and additional emissions reductions.

      In 2014 the Government invested $2.55 billion in the Emissions Reduction Fund to boost agricultural productivity, support jobs for Indigenous communities, improve biodiversity and water quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
      https://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/government/emissions-reduction-fund

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      • #
        pat

        29 Oct: Guardian: Coalition quietly appoints expert panel to salvage emissions policy
        Panel given less than a month to provide recommendations, despite government’s claims on meeting Paris target
        by Adam Morton and Katharine Murphy
        The Morrison government has quietly appointed an expert panel to come up with new ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions and given it less than a month to come up with recommendations.
        In what is being seen by observers as an acknowledgment that its main climate change policy, the $2.55bn emissions reduction fund, is failing to cut national pollution, the government has appointed a panel of four business leaders and policy experts to suggest options to expand it.

        The panel is headed by Grant King, the outgoing president of the Business Council of Australia and a former chief executive of Origin Energy. It was appointed by the minister for emissions reduction, Angus Taylor, in mid-October but has not been made public.
        Business sources say the Morrison government, via officials, has been privately sounding out various groups about an overhaul of the fund for months. But stakeholders were taken aback when the King panel approached them to provide detailed comments on options in less than two weeks.

        A letter from King to interest groups, seen by Guardian Australia, apologises implicitly for the compressed timeframe, acknowledging “it may not be possible to fully consult across your membership before providing your response”. But he argues there will be time for follow-up discussions as a final report is prepared…
        The other panel members are Susie Smith, chief executive of the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network, Prof Andrew Macintosh, head of the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee, and David Parker, the Clean Energy Regulator chairman…
        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/29/coalition-scrambles-for-carbon-cutting-solutions-as-paris-targets-move-further-out-of-reach

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  • #
    pat

    30 Oct: Australian: More die of cold than radiation after Japan tsunami
    By Adam Creighton
    Shutting down Japan’s nuclear power plants has caused thousands of people to die in the cold, far more than were harmed from the Fukushima nuclear disaster itself, according to research that warns against decisions based on the precautionary principle…
    “The increase in mortality from the higher electricity prices significantly outweighs the mortality­ from the accident itself­, suggesting the decision to cease nuclear production caused more harm than good,” the author­s conclude, putting the number of deaths at about 4500 over three years to 2014.
    “No deaths have yet to be attributable to radiation exposure (from Fukushima), though projections estimate a cumulative 130 deaths since.”

    Amid rising electricity prices and fears of a growing risk of blackouts, nuclear energy has emerged as a possible option in Australia’s energy mix, gaining the backing of industry super funds, the Nationals and senior Liberals…

    The authors suggest the decis­ion to switch off nuclear power was “based on emotion and instinct rather than reason and rationality”. “Deaths from higher energy prices are largely unnoticed,” they say.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/world/more-die-of-cold-than-radiation-after-japan-tsunami/news-story/f3d26ce0d0570812635682b144102d57

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    robert rosicka

    Amazing stats from Japan , after the Fukushima nuclear explosions there’s still not one recorded death directly attributed to it .
    But 4500 have died after they shut down all nuke plants and the electricity price skyrocketed to the point that they couldn’t afford to heat their homes .

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  • #
    Another Ian

    rr

    Fiddling is harder – there is a witness

    https://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/rainfall-poster/

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  • #
    Lucky

    Comparing Western Australian with Californian fires:

    California has a variety of climates and vegetation.
    There is the Chaparral-
    “a nightmare for bushfire managers because it cannot be burned safely for fuel reduction;
    it either will not burn at all, or it burns with a fire of uncontrollable violence”. (1)

    To prevent disaster, the solution is the same, extensive clearing of fuel,
    mechanically or by preventive fire according to the circumstances.
    A solution once used by both the indigenous peoples, but anathema to greens/progressives.
    Another good option is not to live and build near that vegetation.

    See (1)
    Roger Underwood. 27th November 2018,
    quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2018/11/what-californias-fire-follies-can-teach-us/
    Roger Underwood is well known in WA as an ex-forester.
    His carefully expressed article is spot-on.

    10

  • #
    Bill in Oz

    @Keith & Andy
    Re your comments at 26.3.2.1.14
    I disagree.
    By putting the boot in when he is down
    You are simply guaranteeing he will
    Continue to doing what he does.

    00

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    Last year there was a very offensive intruder on the blog.

    I’m not sure how much of the current performance you’ve seen but it is similar: pure disruption, no content.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2019/10/california-maybe-prescribed-burns-once-every-500-years-are-not-enough/#comment-2213012

    I agree.

    There’s something seriously wrong and he needs to talk to someone. This blog shouldn’t have to shoulder the abuse.

    If his location really is in serious danger, perhaps he needs to focus on that.

    KK

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    geevee

    The really scary part in this (ok, hard to pick just one) is the comment about “save this chart before they change the data”. Canada is doing that, publicly admitted, are other agencies doing it on the quiet?

    10

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