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Inferno on Black Friday 1939: 71 deaths, 3,700 buildings, too much fuel and “lit by the hand of man”

Black Friday 1939

Omeo . Image courtesy of Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Victoria. More photos

Those who don’t know history…

On Black Friday 1939, on a day of high wind and savage 45 degree heat (110 Fahrenheit) many separate fires joined forces in Victoria to make mass conflagrations, one of which burned most of the western flanks of the Snowy Mountains all the way to New South Wales. In the end the conflagration burned through two million hectares, 3,700 buildings, 69 mills and killed 71 people. Five towns were completely destroyed –  never to be rebuilt. At the time, the atmospheric content of carbon dioxide was 310ppm and 90% of all human emissions were yet to be made. Climate Change has nothing to do with it.

In the end, they were horribly unprepared, the forests were horribly overgrown and the weather was horribly extreme.

Men who had lived their lives in the bush went their ways in the shadow of dread expectancy. But though they felt the imminence of danger they could not tell that it was to be far greater than they could imagine. They had not lived long enough.

The Stretton Royal Commission into the Black Friday fires found that it “almost all fires are caused by man”, and recommended among many other things, the “common bush practice of controlled burning to reduce risks”. The Commission (as well as the fires) had far reaching effects: spawning roads, firebreaks, dams, aerial patrols. A radio network was set up that was considered better then than what the police and military had (think… that was 1939). The Forests Commission more than doubled the area it was managing.

The report makes for interesting reading: the populace were struck with apathy, letting things become overgrown too close to town. The Board of Works believed planned burns were a bad idea and let the forest manage itself naturally. The people and industry were careless, lighting fires for all kinds of reasons, flagrantly flouting laws they disagreed with or felt were silly and unenforceable. The Minister kept half the funds of the Forestry Commission, and lots of people told a version of the truth that best served their own interests. How nothing changes.

Various Departments competed and fought among themselves and Stretton wanted ” to  expose  and  scotch  the  foolish  enmities  which   mar  the  management  of  the forests by public departments, who, being our servants, have become so much our masters that  in some respects they lose sight of our interests in the promotion of their mutual animosities.

Thanks to David B for sending in these excerpts. I’ve read quite a bit of the report though, no doubt there are plenty more gems to be found. There is some reassurance there knowing that government was just as inept, corrupt and incompetent then. Though we have less excuse…

This coming Monday is the 80th anniversary.

Black Friday, Victoria, Map 1939

Black Friday, Victoria, Map 1939 Wikipedia

VICTORIA REPORT OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION TO INQUIRE INTO

The Causes of and Measures Taken to Prevent the Bush Fires of January, 1939,

and to Protect Life and Property AND

The Measures to be Taken to Prevent Bush Fires in Victoria

and to Protect Life and Property in the Event of Future Bush Fires.

“There had been no fires to equal these in destructiveness or intensity in the history of settlement in this State, except perhaps the fires of 1851, which, too, came at summer culmination of a long drought.

“Balls of crackling fire sped at a great pace in advance of the fires consuming with a roaring explosive noise….”

“The speed of the fires was appalling. They leaped from mountain peak to mountain peak, or far out into the lower country, lighting the forests 6 or 7 miles in advance of the main fires. Blown by a wind of great force, they roared as they travelled. Balls of crackling fire sped at a great pace in advance of the fires, consuming with a roaring, explosive noise, all that they touched. Houses of brick were seen and heard to leap into a roar of flame before the fires had reached them. Some men of science hold the view that the fires generated and were preceded by inflammable gases which became alight. Great pieces of burning bark were carried by the wind to set in raging flame regions not yet reached by the fires. Such was the force of the wind i hat, in many places, hundreds of trees of great size were blown clear of the earth, tons of soil, with embedded masses of rock, still adhering to the roots ; for mile upon mile the former forest monarchs were laid in confusion, burnt, torn from the earth, and piled one upon another as matches strewn by a giant hand.”

 “On that day it appeared that the whole State was alight.

At midday, in many places, it was dark as night. Men carrying hurricane lamps, worked to make safe their families and belongings Travellers on the highways were trapped by fires or blazing fallen trees, and perished. Throughout the land there was daytime darkness,. At one mill, desperate but futile efforts were made to clear of inflammable scrub the borders of the mill and mill settlement. All but one person, at that mill, were burned to death, many of them while trying to burrow to imagined safety in the sawdust heap. Horses were found, still harnessed, in their stalls, dead, their limbs fantastically contorted. The full story of the killing of this small community is one of unpreparedness, because of apathy and ignorance and perhaps of something worse. Steel girders and machinery were twisted by heat as if they had been of fine wire. Sleepers of heavy durable timber, set in the soil, their upper surfaces flush with the ground, were burnt through. Other heavy woodwork disappeared, leaving no trace. Where the fire was most intense the soil was burnt and destroyed to such a depth that it may be many years before it shall have been restored by the slow chemistry of Nature. Acres upon acres of the soil itself can be retained only by the effort of man in a fight against natural erosive forces.”

“Millions of acres of fine forest, of almost incalculable value, were destroyed or badly damaged. Townships were obliterated in a few minutes Mills, houses, bridges, tramways, machinery, were burned to the ground; men, cattle, horses, sheep, were devoured by the fires or asphyxiated by the scorching debilitated air. Generally, the numerous fires which during December, in many parts of Victoria, had been burning separately, as they do in any summer, either ” under control ” as it is falsely and dangerously called, or entirely untended, reached the climax of their intensity and joined forces in a devastating confluence of flame on Friday, the 13th of January. On that day it appeared that the whole State was alight.”

 ”These fires were lit by the hand of man.”

The prelude — creeks ran dry and the litter was bone dry

In the State of Victoria, the month of January of the year 1939 came towards the end of a long drought which had been aggravated by a severe hot, dry summer season. For more than twenty years the State of Victoria had not seen its countryside and forests in such travail. Creeks and springs ceased to run. Water storages were depleted. Provincial towns were facing the probability of cessation of water supply. In Melbourne, more than a million inhabitants were subjected to restrictions upon the use of water. Throughout the countryside, the farmers were carting water, if such was available, for their stock and themselves. The rich plains, denied their beneficient rains, lay bare and baking; and the forests, from the foothills to the alpine heights, were tinder. The soft carpet of the forest floor was gone ; the bone-dry litter crackled underfoot ; dry heat and hot dry winds worked upon a land already dry, to suck from it the last, least drop of moisture. Men who had lived their lives in the bush went their ways in the shadow of dread expectancy. But though they felt the imminence of danger they could not tell that it was to be far greater than they could imagine. They had not lived long enough. The experience of the past could not guide them to an understanding of what might, and did, happen. And so it was that, when millions of acres of the forest were invaded by bushfires which were almost State-wide, there happened, because of great loss of life and property -, the most disastrous forest calamity the State of Victoria has known: These fires were lit by the hand of man Seventy-one lives were lost. Sixty-nine mills were burned. Millions of acres of fine forest, of almost incalculable value, were destroyed or badly damaged. Townships were obliterated in a few minutes Mills, houses, bridges, tramways, machinery, were burned to the ground; men, cattle, horses, sheep, were devoured by the fires or asphyxiated by the scorching debilitated air. Generally, the numerous fires which during December, in many parts of Victoria, had been burning separately, as they do in any summer, either ” under control ” as it is falsely and dangerously called, or entirely untended, reached the climax of their intensity and joined forces in a devastating confluence of flame on Friday, the 13th of January. On that day it appeared that the whole State was alight.

 The departments competed and bickered among themselves:

To enable a report of full effect to be made, it would be necessary to inquire into and resolve the preliminary problem of the coordination of control of forest lands by, and recognition and preservation of the rights of, the various persons and departments whose interests are rooted  in the soil of the forests ; to inquire into the constitution and administration of some of these departments ;  to   expose   and   scotch   the   foolish   enmities   which   mar   the   management   of   the forests by public departments, who, being our servants, have become so much our masters that  in some respects they lose sight of our interests in the promotion of their mutual animosities. Nevertheless what will be suggested, should it be thought to be of value, can without insuperable difficulty be later fitted to any change of forest lands control.

… the day is yet distant when we may be able to say that we have, not a condition of perfect safety, but at least a working plan and the knowledge that the plan has the approval of the rural populace. Without their approval and goodwill there can be no real plan because it is man who causes the fires in all years, as he caused the fires of 1939.

The people were apathetic:

(i) General Apathy.—Throughout the State there is an attitude of apathy towards fire prevention. With the exception of the volunteers of the Bush Fire Brigades and the Country Fire Brigades whose services to the State have been of very great value, few people have had any interest in the subject. Townships have been allowed to be encroached upon by scrub. No attempt, in many such places, has been made to render safe the township or its environs by clearing or conservation of available water.

 In short: Fire is a part of life and we can’t ban people from the forests:

As fire is one of the necessary concomitants of living, it is suggested that it is impossible to prevent the outbreak of bush­fires as long as mankind pursues his manifold interests in the bush. To forbid the forests to all men would be absurd, unjust and impossible of enforcement. That such measures as were being used to prevent the outbreak of bush fires were shown in January 1939 to have failed, is insufficient of itself to lay blame upon anybody whose duty it was to devise and operate those measures. The season was exceptional.

Self interest and the Truth

The  truth  was  hard   to   find.  Accordingly,   your   Commissioner   sometimes   sought   it   (as he was entitled to do) in places other than the witness box. Much of the evidence was coloured by self interest. Much of it was quite false. Little of it was wholly truthful. The timberworkers were afraid that if they gave evidence they would not be given future employment in the mills. It is difficult to imagine a sufficient reason for the absence of representation of these men before the Commission of Inquiry. Some of them, disregarding advice, gave evidence, which was clearly truthful. The Forest Officers were, in the main, youngish men of very good character. Mostly, they were afraid that if they were too outspoken, their future advancementin the Forests Commission’s employ would be endangered. Some of them had become too friendly with the millers; whose activities they were set to direct and check. It was regrettable that some of the saw­millers and some of the Forestry Officers were loud in praise of one another, when, to the knowledge of both each had neglected many obligations in the matter of fire prevention and suppression.

Of the Forests Commission, the Chairman, Mr Alfred Vernon Galbraith, alone was called to speak for the Commission. He found himself in the embarrassing position of being the truthful sponsor of what he thought was a bad case. He is a man of moral integrity. If he were freed from the preoccupations attendant upon a life of enforced mendicancy on behalf of his Department, and if his Commission were placed beyond the reach of the sort of political authority to which he and his department have for some time past been subjected, he would be of greater value to the State and would be able to devote himself more closely to (inter alia) what should be the first consideration of every forester, the problems of fire prevention and suppression.

The two main bodies in control disagreed on how to manage things. The Forests Commission wanted to burn things. The Board of Works felt that controlled burns harmed the water supply, weren’t needed, and wanted to wait for the forest canopy to mature and for the underscrub to naturally thin out in the shade. The problem was that while they waited for the canopy to mature, these big fires would come, destroy the canopy, and let even more scrub regrow in the new light on the forest floor. Stretton was not impressed and commented that by this cycle, the Board ensured its property would always remain dangerously inflammable…

The Board of Works and the Forests Commission were virtually the only preventive agents  in the State—

(i) The Board of Works.—The Board has permitted a condition of great danger to exist in its areas. Being apparently well supplied with money, it has for preventive purposes an adequate staff and good organization. The area it controls is comparatively small and manageable. For the greater part its methods accord with those that have been practices, but on too small a scale, by the Forests Commission. The difference in substance between the methods of these two bodies is that the Board refuses to use burning as a general preventive method. It is long established by foresters in other parts of the world that in conditions such as exist in many parts of the Board’s areas,burning is the only effective safeguard. The Board has practised burning for marginal protection of its areas.

But where the areas abut on or are adjacent to other forests or settlement the precaution taken in some cases to be insufficient to arrest the spread of fires from the Board’s territories, whatever the place of origin of such fires may have been. As a method of compartmenting its areas or of making protective breaks, burning is not employed by the Board. It argues that fire in its area is harmful to water supply. It relies on the growth of forest canopy to suppress inflammable scrub. It admits that in large tracts of its territory, the canopy is impaired and cannot be restored until many years have passed, and that while the restoration is proceeding, we may expect at least two abnormal seasons which will bring with them abnormal bush fires. So it would appear, by the argument advanced by the Board, that having regard to the certain recurrence of major bush fires in the known cycle of abnormal seasons, the Board’s property must always remain dangerously inflammable. It appears that a large part of the Board’s policy of prevention of outbreak and spread of fires is to be left to Nature. Nature, however, in another department of its working sends the abnormal season which encourages the major fire which consumes the forest.

…the condition of the Board’s areas assisted the spread of fires which occurred in January 1939; that the destruction of private property resulted, and that had preventive burning been employed within the areas and more widely employed on the margins of those areas, such spread would have been retarded, and such destruction would have been avoided.

Apparently the Forestry Commission said they didn’t have enough money (no one ever does), though it was true that half their budget was placed entirely in the hands of the Minister, not the Forestry Commission, and we all know how that works.

———————————————

Stretton Royal Commission and long-term consequences

As a consequence of Judge Stretton’s scathing report, the Forests Commission Victoria gained additional funding and took responsibility for fire protection on all public land including State forests, unoccupied Crown Lands and National Parks, plus a buffer extending one mile beyond their boundaries on to private land. Its responsibilities grew in one leap from 2.4 million to 6.5 million hectares. Stretton’s recommendations officially sanctioned and encouraged the common bush practice of controlled burning to minimise future risks.

— Wikipedia

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Inferno on Black Friday 1939: 71 deaths, 3,700 buildings, too much fuel and "lit by the hand of man", 9.8 out of 10 based on 92 ratings

251 comments to Inferno on Black Friday 1939: 71 deaths, 3,700 buildings, too much fuel and “lit by the hand of man”

  • #
    PeterS

    As was pointed out climate change had nothing to do with it. So it is the case today. So will our PM at least admit that and inform the public of the truth or will he continue to pretend it doesn’t matter and continue to beat his chest about reaching our emissions targets “in a canter”? He is such a coward.

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    • #

      Victoristan has the solution:

      Victoria’s state Labor government will sign off on deep new emission cut targets by the end of Australia’s horror bushfire summer, with potential reductions of up to 40 per cent likely to put pressure on the state’s ageing coal-fired power plants.

      In a move that will expand the gap between Victorian and federal climate policy aims, the state government has confirmed it will comply with its obligations under its own Climate Change Act and impose emissions cuts targets of no less than 20 per cent by March 31.

      Never have so few, done so much to destroy a state.

      530

      • #

        What do they plan to cut? Their political throats? That might work.

        240

        • #
          PeterS

          The first and foremost thing they ought to cut first is the red (and Green) tape preventing a lot of the hazard reduction that should be carried out, past, present and future. This is where the PM should step in and if possible burn all the red tapes and come up with a better land management policy covering the whole of Australia, of course in conjunction with he States. The local councils should have a minimal input as bush fires do not recognise their boundaries.

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          • #
            Dennis

            The Morrison Government has already cut red and green tape along with cancelling funding of several non-government organisations, and intend to target more. This commenced during the Abbott Government term 2013-2015 but not continued by the Turnbull Government. PM Morrison has already met with permanent heads of Federal Government Departments to call for service improvements.

            They are also planning an inquiry covering all levels of responsibility for Rural Fire Service and bushfires, being a State Government area of responsibility under Emergency Service, the Federal Government’s role is to provide funding to State Budgets when requested and assist with Federal assets such as ADF when requested by State Governments.

            Unfortunately not enough voters follow the news closely and are not well informed by ABC and large sections of the MSM, in fact they are more likely to broadcast or publish deceptive information. Definitely no praise given for governments they consider to be political enemies.

            Fake news!

            It is sad when conservative voters support the leftist political campaigning to bring down leaders.

            170

            • #
              Dennis

              The Australian Constitution provides for State rights and at the time of Federation of States to form the Commonwealth of Australia powers and responsibilities were clearly defined with the former colonies refusing to hand over many powers to the Federal Government.

              One example was the Snowy Mountains Scheme, a Federal Government initiative that required cooperation from the State Governments for planning approval and provision of State owned lands. It took a decade of discussions and negotiations before the project could proceed.

              20

            • #
              Kalm Keith

              “It is sad when conservative voters support the leftist political campaigning to bring down leaders”

              Dennis, was Turnbull a leader?

              KK

              30

              • #
                Dennis

                No in my opinion, but he was a Liberal In Name Only (LINO) with a mission to destroy the Party and the Coalition that spans back many decades before he and his Black Hand Faction voted to replace PM Abbott with Turnbull in September 2015.

                And worth noting that the leftists campaigned to promote PM Turnbull and earlier when he as a Cabinet Minister.

                My point was above that voters tend to be influenced by leftist media deceptive comments and images and often lacking the knowledge to identify facts and fiction.

                110

              • #
                Geoffrey Williams

                So true Keith and shame to them all.
                GeoffW

                20

              • #
                Bill In Oz

                But Tony’s action in bring back
                Royal honors was is own
                Shot in his credibility.
                Public opinion saw him at retrograde after that.

                12

              • #
                Dennis

                But PM Abbott did not bring back “Royal honours”, still no general awards of knighthoods and memberships of orders, only two positions were reinstated and both because they are ceremonially attached to the Monarch, Governors General and the Chief of Staff of the ADF.

                The beat up that followed was what we now realise is “fake news”, the ingenuity of the media spin that deliberately creates a false impression.

                And our Government’s nomination for Prince Philip to receive a Knighthood for services to the Commonwealth of Nations followed a request from Buckingham Palace.

                20

            • #
              hatband

              The Liberal Party is a Leftist Party, Dennis.

              The clue is in the name.

              Anyway, having a Royal Commission into seat polishers in the Bureaucracy is pointless,

              and a waste of time and money.

              What’s needed is a Forests Columbo who will ask the hard questions like

              Name the person further up the Pecking Order who dictated Forest Policy”,

              and so on.

              Eventually, a clear pattern will emerge.

              10

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Absolute bloody DUMBNUTS !

        50

      • #
        AndyG55

        They will just get their electricity from… //// ???????

        … hmmmm.. I seem to be stuck…

        Sorry, I can’t figure out where they will get their electricity from.

        Suggestions ???

        140

        • #
          PeterS

          From NSW of course but that’s OK as long as we implement a quota system such that when they reached it they get no more for another year. Also slam on a “carbon tax” on any power they get from NSW since they believe in that sort thing. How about 100,000%?

          130

          • #
            AndyG55

            Yo do realise that if VIC expect reliable electricity as needed, ..

            .. that will mean that NSW will have to build another coal fired power station just to service Victoria.

            ACT will of course be 100% renewable, while still connected to the coal fired NSW grid and without a single wind turbine in the ACT.

            It really is so farcical.. a sort of warped fantasy !

            420

            • #
              PeterS

              Or like pass the parcel. I still maintain that the interconnects should only be used in cases of emergencies and the like, such as when power stations are temporarily closed down for maintenance/upgrades or some issues with the links coming from them,such as say a storm or fire. If a state or territory can’t supply enough power during peaks times when there is no such issues then the federal government should step in and penalise them in some way. Alternatively, as you say an adjacent state has to provide more coal fired power stations not less. In that case the state with the extra power can then charge the other state some form of super tax to recover the costs of building the power station(s). That way Victoria will in effect be funding the building of new coal fired power stations in NSW whether they like it or not. If they don’t like it a lot then they can build their own coal fired power stations. It’s so logical but of course logic is discarded by the left in toto.

              170

              • #
                Dennis

                Please advise how the Federal Government could “step in and penalise” a state? How to force a state to approve development application planning?

                Peter, it is ridiculous to make demands that under constitutional laws the Federal Government is powerless.

                23

              • #
                PeterW

                Dennis.

                The States are mostly funded by the Federal government.

                70

              • #
                Dennis

                There seems to be an ever present struggle for a share of the revenue government collects, not only between states but also between the different levels of government.

                In each year’s budget, the federal government allocates funds for federal programs (such as defence) and for some programs operated at a state level (such as school education, public transport, and hospitals). It has this role because it also collects more revenue from taxpayers than the states.

                The reason for this all relates back to (at least in part) the Australian constitution.

                The division of power between the federal and state governments

                The federal parliament can only legislate (that is, make laws) in certain areas, known as “heads of power”, most of which are listed in sections 51 and 52 of the Constitution. This gives the federal parliament the power to legislate with respect to matters such as defence, external affairs, immigration, invalid and old-age pensions, and marriage.

                In contrast, there is no equivalent limit on the legislative power of the states. The states may legislate in any area. However, section 109 of the constitution provides that where there is an inconsistency between a federal law and a state law, the federal law will prevail. In simple terms, this means that if the federal parliament has made a law dealing with a particular matter, state governments are unable to legislate in ways that conflict with the federal law.

                The federal government’s control of revenue

                The state and federal governments all have the power to collect tax, subject to some exceptions. Notably, section 90 of the Constitution gives the federal government exclusive power over the lucrative revenue streams of customs and excise duties (taxes on goods, such as alcohol, tobacco and fuel).

                Until the Second World War, Australians paid income tax to both state and federal governments. However since 1942, the federal government has been the sole collector of income tax.

                The federal government has also collected company tax for over 100 years, and the GST since 2000. The states could still collect income tax if they wanted to, but choose not to for political reasons.

                Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tried to explore the possibility last year of both the federal and state governments collecting income tax, but this was quickly rejected by the states. While the states generate some revenue – for example through gambling, property and payroll taxes and mining royalties – they are unable to collect anywhere near the same amount as the federal government.

                This creates a “vertical fiscal imbalance” between the federal and state governments. Conversely, the federal government is in the opposite position: while the federal government collects extensive revenue, its power to spend and directly fund programs is more limited.

                10

              • #
                Dennis

                The Roles and Responsibilities of Federal, State and Local Governments

                The Federal Government

                The Federal or Commonwealth Government is responsible for the conduct of national affairs. Its areas of responsibility are stated in the Australian Constitution and include defence and foreign affairs; trade, commerce and currency; immigration; postal services, telecommunications and broadcasting; air travel; most social services and pensions. The Federal Government is also involved, mainly through funding, in many things largely carried out by the States, such as health, education, environmental issues, industrial relations, etc.

                State or Territory Government

                Under the Australian Constitution, the States are responsible for everything not listed as a Federal responsibility. However, sometimes both levels are involved. Major State responsibilities include schools, hospitals, conservation and environment, roads, railways and public transport, public works, agriculture and fishing, industrial relations, community services, sport and recreation, consumer affairs, police, prisons and emergency services. Each state has its own constitution setting out its system of government.

                Local Government

                Local Government areas vary greatly in size and character. The Sydney area is divided into about 35 cities, municipalities or shires, each with its own local council. The bigger country centres such as Bathurst or Albury have city or municipal councils. Large but less populated country areas, with a number of small towns and large rural areas, are usually shires with a Shire Council based in one of the larger towns. The power of local governments is controlled by Acts of State Parliament such as the Local Government Acts. Local Councils are concerned with matters close to our homes, such as building regulations and development, public health, local roads and footpaths, parks and playing fields, libraries, local environmental issues, waste disposal, and many community services.

                Who Does What?

                It is not always easy to know which government is responsible for which service. Although the Federal Government is probably better known to many of us, the everyday things we do usually have more to do with our State or Local Governments.

                20

              • #
                Dennis

                I should have also explained Goods & Services Tax which is mentioned as a federal government revenue or collection. The ATO does that but on behalf of state and territory governments, it is listed as a federal tax revenue but one hundred per cent goes to the states and territories. GST was part of a major Howard Government tax reforms agenda. GST was created as a new revenue source for states and territories and the Wholesale Sales Tax was abolished and therefore no longer federal revenue. The states had long talked about wanting a share of income tax receipts which would have been complicated.

                GST revenue was negotiated in return for the state and territory governments abolishing some state taxes like stamp duty and payroll tax but others too and once the agreement was signed the states/territories decided to not abolish some taxes they agreed to abolish. So stamp duty is levied and then GST on top.

                The plan also involved making the states more responsible for their own finances and limiting federal grants to specific requests item by item.

                01

              • #
                Chris

                The money gathered by the Federal Government does not belong to the STATES, it belongs to the people. It is the States responsibility to spend the money wisely for the benefit of the residents of that State. By penalising the STATE you are penalising the people who own the money.

                30

              • #
                Dennis

                Testing the government’s power to spend on certain programs

                Until recently, the federal government thought it could spend money more or less as it pleased. However, the High Court clarified and restricted the federal government’s power to spend money and limited its ability to fund directly some programs.

                Its power to spend was tested in 2012 and 2014 in two legal challenges to the government’s funding of the national school chaplaincy program. Prior to the legal challenges, the federal government had entered into agreements with religious service organisations – such as Scripture Union Queensland – to provide chaplains in schools.

                The High Court held that (with some small exceptions) the federal government’s power to spend money is limited to where the authority to spend money is expressly conferred by legislation. The legislation authorising the spending must also be supported by one of the “heads of power” granted to the federal parliament by the constitution.

                In the case of the chaplaincy program, the court rejected the arguments that the legislation could be supported by the power in one section of the Constitution to make laws for the “provision of…benefits to students” or by the corporations power in another section of the Constitution. To continue the funding of the national school chaplaincy program the federal government turned to the states for assistance.

                How the federal government gives money to the states

                Section 96 of the Constitution provides for the federal government to provide a significant proportion of its revenue to the states:

                …the Parliament may grant financial assistance to any State on such terms and conditions as the Parliament thinks fit.
                This distribution of revenue takes two forms – general revenue assistance (“untied funding”) and payments for a specific purpose (“tied funding”).

                The untied funding that states receive from the federal government is largely made up of the money that the federal government collects from the GST. The states can spend this money as they see fit.

                However, the passing on of the GST revenue is not unconditional. It’s conditional on the states giving up the collection of a number a number of states taxes.

                The complex task of carving up the GST revenue between the states is left to the Commonwealth Grants Commission. The annual process always seems to leave a least one state claiming it should receive a greater share of the pie.

                The federal government may also provide funding to the states for a specific purpose. The states have to consent to receiving the funding (which is not usually a problem), but it does mean that the federal government cannot impose programs on the states that they vehemently oppose.

                This funding is tied to a particular project, where the federal government provides the funds and the state carries out the project. Grants such as these have been used regularly to fund education and health projects in the states. These specific purpose grants may be conditional on states meeting regular reporting requirements or achieving certain milestones.

                Providing funding to the states through specific purpose grants allows the federal government to have great influence on policy areas that have traditionally been within the purview of the states.

                The federal system of government created by the constitution divides power between the federal and state governments. While at times this might seem inefficient, it also provides checks and balances on government spending.

                01

              • #
                Another Ian

                Peter s

                You might have a look at Brasil and big dams for drought proofing.

                Seems that big dams cost a lot and the water is usually sold before the next drought hits.

                And so be it wit interconnectors I suspect

                00

              • #
                Kalm Keith

                To Ian, Dams.

                In the Hunter region we don’t only need new dams for drought proofing, but for a reasonable water supply.

                We are on rations at the moment: population has gone up and the dam which should have been built twenty years ago was cancelled, the land sold and the savings of Hunter residents taken to Sydney.

                It doesn’t matter who’s in power, they all shaft us.

                KK

                20

      • #
        Deplorable Lord Kek

        will someone please cut the extension cord to Victoria and SA and stop them leeching off coal fired power stations in other states?

        160

        • #
          shannon

          Yes its a bloody joke….hypocrites. Using “claytons energy” !!! (The electricity they are using when proclaiming, “renewable energy, ” but still using that DIRTY coal ENERGY, via the “umbi cord”, across the State line…!)….
          Germany back in 2012 – ?? were doing similar.. “proclaiming” Green Energy……meanwhile they were getting their energy needs from France’s Nuclear power plants via connectors ..one side of the Country……and energy from Czechoslovakia’s coal fired power stations on the opposite side !!
          WHO controls the Energy Marketing Authority in Australia ??

          60

        • #
          PeterS

          Yes it’s hypocritical for a state or territory to say they are moving to more renewables allegedly to save the planet from global warming yet they continue to rely on power from other sates that provide power from coal. Then again what does one expect form the twisted and illogical mind of the left? They have such a c0rrupt view they don’t even see the hypocrisy.

          50

      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        Nobody seems to have noticed yet, but formulae have been developed to calculate the carbon content of vegetative ground cover. Contracts have been written and signed on the basis of these formulae for various carbon sequestration and other schemes.

        It is extremely unlikely that none of those carbon sequestration schemes have gone up in smoke during these fires. Those formulae will tell them what their calculated losses are. And they will come looking for stones to extract their blood compensation from.

        When that happens…..you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

        50

      • #
        Postcript

        Victoria also has a plan to scrap native forest logging. Some of my extended family were involved in selective logging between the wars in the Yarra Valley.

        The ’39 fires wiped a lot of those forests out. The regrowth has now reached maturity again, yet the vast majority cannot be logged, selectively or otherwise even before the ban comes into effect. The forests must wait for the next catastrophic fire instead, ultimately taking the millionaire possums with them (based on a million eucalypts currently ‘saved’ from logging for each known Leadbeater’s possum within their overall area of occurrence).

        Given the state’s ever growing green reach into previously productive sectors of the economy, Victorian employment opportunities are increasingly tied to the net migration rate, without which this green state’s balance books would no doubt be in the red.

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        • #
          Deplorable Lord Kek

          Victorian employment opportunities are increasingly tied to the net migration rate

          riding on the back of the immigration ponzi scheme, like the rest of the country (so we get ever increasing traffic jams, overcrowded schools, overcrowded hospitals, loss of heritage, diminution of wage growth, water restrictions…)

          40

      • #
        Mal

        Economic euthanasia!!

        10

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      It is state governments ALONE which
      Have the constitutional authority
      To manage lands within states
      Can we agree on this legal fact
      Peter please ?
      I get so annoyed when il informed People here
      On JoNova spout nonsense.
      Morrison can have an enquiry
      But it will acheive nothing
      unless implemented by the state parliaments
      & it’s bloody hide bound ideologuish bureaucrats

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      • #
        PeterS

        I agree. If the federal government doesn’t have the powers to make policies or set standards to minimise the risk of major bush fires then they should do whatever it takes to do so. After all it’s a national crisis much like a war situation. States of course need to be involved but they all must work together with the federal government to come up with a national policy that’s consistent across the board. This goes beyond politicos, at least it should even though at the moment it still doesn’t. The Greens of course will protest especially at the council level. They can go jump.

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        • #
          Lionell Griffith

          they all must work together

          Oh but they are. Their policies and consequent actions allow everything to be burnt and then, whatever is left, is to be taxed out of existence. The problem is that both the state governments and the federal government are the problem. They do the same things and get the same result. This is why government is a dangerous servant and a deadly master. It has been that way since the first government was formed.

          The situation isn’t going to change until We the People change. As long as we expect the government to do something, it will and we are worse off because of it.

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          • #
            Lawrie

            I have yet to see a government that does not believe that it is my master. I have yet to see a government or bureaucrat that accepts their role of servant. Consider if and when there was a time when you as an individual could make a decision that did not need some sort of approval by a government or one or more of it’s lackeys.

            Public lands are not for the public and private lands are controlled by various vegetation and planning laws. You cannot build a dam or cut a firebreak without the approval of some turkey with lots of power and little common sense or basic knowledge. Government wants payment yesterday but will pay you when they feel like it. I know who the serfs are in this country.

            40

            • #
              Kalm Keith

              And what you describe has gone too far, needs to be fixed.

              Somebody said that legal action to recover damages arising from unreasonable decisions might help turn the tide.

              KK

              30

        • #
          PeterW

          It is NOT a “National Crisis”.

          The majority are not threatened. The existence and fundamental nature of the Nation is not threatened.

          There is an emergency in some parts of some States which the media and politicians are using to manipulate the weak-minded.

          What you are demanding is that Politicians give themselves more power, without limiting either the degree or the application of that power.

          Historically, that is always another step on the road towards the abuse of power and the denial of Rights.

          Watch and you will see -amongst other things – more controls on the majority, but no more responsibility for the political decision-makers.There always is.

          42

          • #
            hatband

            Peter W says:

            It is NOT a “National Crisis”.

            The majority are not threatened.

            Sooner or later, fires will be strategically lit on the outskirts of the Capital Cities.

            If Scotty is still P.M. by then, he will have to declare Martial Law.

            Just my opinion:

            Why wait until we’re all burnt out?

            Declare Martial Law now.

            11

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        “I get so annoyed when il informed People here
        On JoNova spout nonsense.”

        The whole point of the blog is to explore and provide greater understanding.

        In this case a hidden feature of the situation has been brought out into the open and firmed up; sitrongpella.

        Well done PeterS and Bill.

        I am sure that there are many locations online where such adjustments in thinking are discouraged and even prevented.

        It’s “contributors” like PF and Screaming Scro who could do with a bit of stick.

        KK
        :-)

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        • #
          Robert Swan

          I would agree, Kalm Keith, except the “greater understanding” doesn’t seem to be happening.

          PeterS often pleads for the Feds to come to the rescue despite having had it pointed out to him multiple times that they don’t have the authority (let alone the competence) to be of any help. And I’m not sure what he’s suggesting in the comment you’re responding to. He appears to be saying that the feds should do “whatever it takes” to usurp the states’ authorities. Buggered if I’m with him on that!

          Why not call for the UN to step in and get everything working perfectly?

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          • #
            Dennis

            Like UN Agenda 30 – Sustainability.

            Check that one out and discover the root cause of the bushfires that provided for the excess building up of fuel.

            Implemented by State Governments, in NSW Carr Labor handed over State Forests and dam catchment areas to become NSW managed National Parks and Wildlife territory. All of the National Parks are State or Territory lands and responsibilities.

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          • #
            Kalm Keith

            “Why not call for the UN to step in and get everything working perfectly?”

            If you think that this was implied in any of PeterS comment then there’s something wrong.

            Why are people at each others throats; it seems that “they” have won.

            KK

            10

            • #
              Ted O'Brien.

              The root cause of the problem with these fires is drought, lack of rain. Boosted by a long heatwave. It is extremely unusual to have fires then no rain for many weeks.

              Such conditions can turn a manageable fuel load into a critical fuel load in a couple of weeks.

              There certainly are management problems. But don’t expect inquiries to achieve any more changes than the 1939 inquiry did. The same people will fight the same battles for the same results. The longest winded will carry the day.

              Many of the National Parks that are on fire have only been declared in the last 40 or 50 years. The first thing they do when they declare a National Park is lock the locals out. There is a presumed conflict of interest.

              Prior to that time there were locals who for various reasons, including logging, fishing &c, used to go into those forested areas, and who knew the way around them. Now we find that very few know the way round in many areas.

              My ideal solution would include reopening the National Parks to the general public, and the maintenance of an effective network of fire trails which give prompt access to firefighters when needed. Get the local volunteers more involved in the day to day management of the parks.

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              • #
                Lawrie

                I would add the return of cattle grazing as used to be the norm when national parks were classified as crown lands. I would go further and use camels to control the undergrowth just as the long faced kangaroos and other soft footed animals used to. I doubt that cattle and camels could do the damage these fires have.

                21

            • #
              Robert Swan

              KK, the UN is the logical next step after the Feds let PeterS down.

              Here’s a reminder of what he suggested:

              If the federal government doesn’t have the powers to make policies or set standards to minimise the risk of major bush fires then they should do whatever it takes to do so.

              Why does everything have to go up the hierarchy? It’s already too centralised — at least in NSW. What sane person would put bushfire control in the hands of Canberra?

              Why not devolve more power to the local RFS groups? Authority to carry out hazard reduction burns as they see fit. It’s pre-emptive burning, so require them to give fair warning to let people get away and avoid the smoke, but loosen the shackles of Green politicians and central RFS management.

              It is outrageous these volunteers are put in needless danger while the pollies and salaried managers bask safely in the reflected glow of the heroes.

              In other news, it looks like Friday is Hatband’s RDO. Either that or, as you say, maybe our group of blow-in trolls has declared “mission accomplised”. It was amusing seeing them apparently arguing amongst themselves, but all in agreement that the bad fires couldn’t possibly be due the accumulation of fuel.

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          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            Why not call for the UN to step in and get everything working perfectly?

            Why not call ‘demand’ the UN to step in and get everything working perfectly? And, WOT IF there is no consideration? (getting something in return for carbon taxes).
            The carbon tax is hardly transparent

            From Wikipedia: “Consideration”
            “In common law it is a prerequisite that both parties offer consideration before a contract can be thought of as binding. The doctrine of consideration is irrelevant in many jurisdictions, although contemporary commercial litigant relations have held the relationship between a promise and a deed is a reflection of the nature of contractual considerations. If there is no element of consideration found, there is thus no contract formed.”

            I would add, at a guess, that if the UN product/service is found to be defective in any way, it should be possible to obtain a refund and compensation for damages.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consideration

            10

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          I’m going to guess that this nightmare fire taught people better ways to be safe from fire. And this was a very high price to pay for that knowledge. I wonder if anyone can justify throwing away the hard learned very expensive lessons like this in order to sequester carbon.

          Anyone? I dare you to try.

          30

        • #

          ‘Take back the Royal(UN) Forests!’

          Signed: Robin Hood.

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        • #
          PeterW

          I recall how the Hawke government gave itself the power to intervene in Tasmania over the Franklin Dam.

          It used its power to sign Treaties, and now that treaty gives non-Australians too much control over how Australia manages land .

          51

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        It seems that I have been immoderate.

        50

      • #
        Dennis

        Good comment thank you Bill, it annoys me too when obviously politically and legally uninformed people post in strong language criticising and demanding things that are outside the powers and responsibilities of the target they are aiming at.

        32

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      It is state governments ALONE which
      Have the constitutional authority
      To manage lands within states
      Can we agree on this legal fact
      Peter please ?
      I get so annoyed when il informed People here
      On JoNova spout nonsense.
      Morrison can have an enquiry
      But it will acheive nothing
      unless implemented by the state parliaments
      & it’s bloody hide bound ideologuish bureaucrats

      80

      • #
        beowulf

        Laws can be changed Bill; they are not set in stone. Only the states could raise income tax too until a national emergency dictated otherwise. The states have handed over considerable power since 1901.

        In the past there have been separate state enquiries into bushfires in a particular state and that’s where it stopped. If we have a national Royal Commission this time we might get somewhere. The current circumstances are conducive to having one national enquiry and to making changes. Strike while the iron’s hot. This can be the definitive enquiry into bushfires.

        If that Commission creates a big enough stink then the Feds might be able to impose some non-legislative controls nationally. They still control purse strings. The weight of public opinion might tip the scales, with so many states involved in bushfires simultaneously. Fires don’t respect borders.

        If enough facts about bureaucratic interference and Green tape, and the overall pernicious influence of the Greens in these fires can be brought into the light of day in a Royal Commission, things will begin to happen like they did with the banks. The deep Green state needs to be exposed, and the actual states need to have their feet held to the fire.

        We need a Royal Commission.

        40

        • #
          PeterW

          What on earth makes you think that this Royal Commission will be any different from previous Royal Commissions?

          Or that – having abrogated the power to manage public land, future Federal Governments will be any more rational and consistent than previous State governments?

          If you do, I’d like to introduce you to my friend from Nigeria.

          31

          • #
            beowulf

            Don’t be so cynical Peter.

            We have to try something to break the power of the Greens. With fires in 6 states this is our last best chance. A Commission is the only way we will get the facts out into the open. What’s your suggestion? Sit back and take more of the same while the power of the Greens grows? Aren’t you sick of putting out Green fires?

            Besides, I already sent all my money to a Prince in Nigeria. I’m just waiting for my fortune to appear . . . any day now.

            30

    • #
      el gordo

      ‘He is such a coward.’

      The PM is going to hold a Royal Commission into bushfires, fuel loading, green tape and climate change. Are we prepared?

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      • #
        PeterS

        We already has Royal Commissions and the like after previous bush fire disasters. The truth is already known. The politicians ignore them endlessly. In any case let’s see what happens this time around. By the time it’s all over and the weather cools down it most likely will be ignored and brushed under the carpet yet again. However, it might be different this time around if the next summer fires are as bad if not worse than the current ones. Then they can’t ignore the recommendations. Of course that assumes they don’t recommend silly ideas like increasing our reliance on renewables and adopting higher emission reduction targets.

        80

        • #
          el gordo

          Let us imagine the terms of reference, has an increase in CO2 made this bushfire season unprecedented?

          30

        • #
          el gordo

          This editorial from the SMH seeks a NSW Royal Commission.

          https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/nsw-needs-a-royal-commission-into-bushfires-20200107-p53pl2.html

          They are biased, of course, but this offers an opportunity to prepare a defence for the CO2 molecule.

          20

        • #
          King Geo

          Important sentence from PeterS

          “By the time it’s all over and the weather cools down it most likely will be ignored and brushed under the carpet yet again.”

          You will probably get your wish Peter because I have noticed that strong La Nina’s have occurred ~ 2 years after Solar Cycle Lows e.g.

          1. SC low: 1996 – La Ninas: mid 1998- early 2001
          2. SC low: 2008 – La Ninas: late 2010 – early 2012
          3. SC low: 2019 – ? La Nina/La Ninas – late 2021 onwards

          If this pattern continues then expect a strong La Nina in late 2021 onwards – maybe back to back La Ninas?

          Will this be the start of Stewart Franks “La Nina Clustering” proposed for “Cooling Cycles”?

          David Evans, David Dilley and others predict a “GC Cycle” starting very soon (early 2020′s).

          Will this come in time for the next Oz Federal Election in mid/late 2022?

          40

          • #
            PeterS

            Not my wish but a simple observation if one studies history. Most people of course do not because they thing they already have all the answers, like a young teenager. My wish is for the people to wake up and stop voting for a two party system that’s broken and leading the nation down into the abyss. We need to change tack even if it’s by a minor party that holds the balance of power. There is no guarantee of success but at least we can try something different.

            10

        • #
          PeterW

          The fallacy in demanding that the Feds do “whatever it takes” is that the Feds are no less error-prone than the States…. and once you have a single system, there are no comparisons by which you can determine what works better.

          Right now, we can compare the failure of NSW and Victoria with the success of fuel reduction in WA. What guarantee are you offering that a single, Federal, system won’t be closer to the failures than the single success?

          41

    • #
      Dennis

      You don’t appear to be considering the politics of climate change hoax and that about half the population have been frightened by the scare campaign to some extent.

      And that if the PM ignored the emissions reduction target his political opponents would find ways to attack and smear him.

      Politics is all about voter perceptions.

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    • #
      Geoff

      Its clear that electricity is not “sustainable”. We should just stop using it. If everyone works for the government we just don’t need it! The last thing government needs to do is do anything. Without electricity this goal can be achieved.

      See Karl Marx for the more analysis.

      50

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    People, it seems, have learnt nothing.

    Those who refuse from history, are doomed to repeat it….

    More hazard reduction burning is needed, asap.

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    • #

      As they did in the decades after and more recently in 2003 and then 2009. I was talking yesterday with my neighbour who has returned from holidays and who knows many in the East Gippsland region,, ex-CFA coordinators and the like; the constant refrain is inadequate prevention and preparation.

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    • #
      PeterS

      Correction – more hazard reduction is needed ASAP. Burning is just one of several aspects of reducing the risk of major fires spreading to populated areas. Without it we run the risk of a repeat of past fire-storms that will ultimately destroy far more properties and kill hundreds if not thousands of people. Do our politicians want that much blood on their hands?

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      • #

        It’s not just fuel reduction burning, it’s a whole host of other issues that need to be addressed. Fundamental to fire prevention is access to fire prone areas and in Victoristan there’s been an increasing tendency to close of bush tracks and let them become overgrown.

        The other aspect is the continued banning of logging. Logging ensures that there are activities that keep the forest controlled and has people constantly in the area ready to tackle fires when they first start.

        Additionally, while the Greens object to things like cattle in the High Country, the movements and feeding habits of cattle also add to the reduction of fuel for fires. Every aspect adds to fire prevention.

        2019 will be repeated in 7-10 years time and the results will be far worse, unless more pragmatic minds take over. Ending coal fired power provide no benefit and may even have adverse unintended consequences.

        One being that renewable energy requires the windmills to be spread all over the place, rather than in one spot like a coal fired power station, and when fires start they will be vulnerable just like the extensive transmission lines. Additionally, the cost of keeping the areas surrounding the windmills clear will be far higher than having a buffer zone around a power station.

        And I’ll bet there are plenty more consequences that haven’t been considered.

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        • #
          PeterS

          One issue that’s sometimes pointed out but not enough is the locking up of the National Parks. That aspect needs to change. We need major investments in land management to re-create the fire breaks and the like by clearing out the fallen trees and overgrowth. This doesn’t involve burning in most cases but lots of hard yakka.

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          • #

            Most of Victoristan’s national parks are seasonally open, but as I noted, areas are increasingly being closed off. The parks service doesn’t have the resources to maintain tracks and so they simply get closed off.

            Some tracks become closed simply through becoming overgrown; the rate of regrowth after a bushfire is phenomenal. Anyone visiting the burnt areas toady won’t recognise them in approx 1-2 years time. You won’t be able to walk through the areas due to the thick undergrowth.

            In 7-10 years time, the bush will be patiently waiting for another opportunity to burst into a fire storm.

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            • #
              AndyG55

              “In 7-10 years time, the bush will be patiently waiting for another opportunity to burst into a fire storm.”

              And we will have another drought (something that has never occurred before in Australia ;-) )…

              …. and all that unkempt growth will again become kindling for a massive bonfire.

              No-one will be able to access it to fight it.

              There will be no firebreak defenses around settlements

              All that has happened in the last few months, will be a past inconvenient history, to be ignored at will.

              140

              • #
                William

                I disagree Andy, This fire won’t be forgotten because, unlike the droughts and fires of 1939 and every other previous drought and bushfire in Australia, this one was caused by climate change! The zealots will use this and any future fires as proof of their hypothesis – along with future droughts, floods, record snowfalls, hurricanes, not hurricanes and etc.

                51

            • #
              OriginalSteve

              That speaks of a possibke deliberate strategy to effectively lock people out of wilderness.

              The UN loves this idea…they call it “Rewilding”
              and works hand in glove with UN Agenda 21.

              Not the Victoriastans leadership might be very left leaning, of course….

              71

            • #
              Graeme No.3

              bemused:

              Who says they don’t have the resources? How many public servants do they employ in Melbourne?
              And how did those trails get cleared in the first place?

              90

              • #

                The public resources required, in part, are heavy machinery operators such as dozer drivers, who are usually contracted by the parks service. As with any state government department, money is allocated in annual budgets and then sub-allocated within departments.

                The absolute minimum is often spent because this type of spending doesn’t enable a minister to cut ribbons or boast about their efforts. Maintaining the bush is mostly an invisible task that garners little attention, until we have bushfires.

                As for how many public servants. That’s an open question and answer.

                How were the tracks made in the first place? By loggers, the Forest Commission (from the good old days) and land owners. They were then kept navigable by loggers, land owners, recreation 4WDrivers, the Forest Commission and later (to some degree) by the parks service, or emergency dozer drivers to open out fire breaks.

                With 45+ years experience in the High Country, I have some idea of what has been going on. When the bush is closed off and a fire starts, access is very limited and the only way in is via a dozer cutting a track. The task is slow and fraught with hazards during the height of fire season.

                One story for you. Melbourne Water years back closed off all tracks to Victorian water storages, but then found it impossible to maintain the tracks to the storages and sought help from the 4WD community. They granted access to that community who would then keep the tracks clear and allow maintenance and emergency crews the ability to access the area when needed.

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          • #
            el gordo

            ‘This doesn’t involve burning in most cases but lots of hard yakka.’

            Which is why I’m shamelessly pushing for a Green Army.

            20

          • #
            Dennis

            Recreate State Forests, UN Agenda 30 State National Parks are a failure.

            Return to sustainable logging and grasslands around trees where practical to achieve this. Far better for the environment and the economy. Build and maintain fire trails and access roads, firebreaks and fire alert facilities.

            70

      • #
        AndyG55

        Also a more positive approach to fire breaks especially around even small villages.

        Wide, well maintained firebreaks should be mandatory.

        Any main access roads should also be cleared and maintained either side of the road to such a distance that trees cannot fall across the road.

        Framers should have mandatory wide fire breaks anywhere their property backs only forested land.

        Lone houses that are surrounded by close or even overhanging trees should be purely at the owners risk.

        Wide fire trails should be created and well maintain through all National Parks and State Forests

        etc etc

        That means a major increase of State funding for this purpose, where that comes from….

        … Well the opportunity exists to down grade some of the unnecessary funding of the the main leftist propaganda arm.

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        • #

          Any main access roads should also be cleared and maintained either side of the road to such a distance that trees cannot fall across the road.

          You should visit our area, everything is the complete opposite. Remember, trees are sacred and even dead ones on a property cannot be cut down.

          110

          • #
            AndyG55

            Fallen trees on main thoroughfares, be it due to fire, wind or just old age, are an extreme hazard, and one that has an easy enough remedy.

            60

            • #

              Fallen trees on main thoroughfares

              Happens here throughout the year. The Strzelecki Highway, which is the main thoroughfare between the Princes Freeway in the north and the South Gippsland Highway in the south, is a tree lined avenue almost throughout its entire length. And where there are no trees, or both, it’s metre high dry grass running along both sides.

              60

              • #
                AndyG55

                “it’s metre high dry grass running along both sides.”

                ie a total fire hazard.

                A uncontrollable bonfire, in waiting !

                60

              • #
                Annie

                Exactly the situation here; the highway and surrounding roads are a ready-made funeral pyre in waiting for people and all animals. That’s 11 years after the Black Saturday firestorm and another RC.

                90

        • #
          PeterS

          Agree with all that. [snip]

          60

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            No risk of that in Pyrmont or Fitzroy….they could douse themselves in latte I guess if things got rough…or organic bottled spring water…

            70

        • #
          robert rosicka

          Removing trees from the roadside so no possibility of burning trees falling on the roads has to be done on one way in and one way out roads .
          This will keep the foresters happy and employed , also track upgrades through the bush with widening of track verges using the same method .
          Let the forest harvesting crews in and the cost would be minimal .

          30

          • #
            Annie

            The Maroondah Hwy between Healesville and Narbethong is in a very dangerous state. A woman was killed there not long ago when one of the trees fell over. Falling trees on that section are a regular feature and it is nothing short of miraculous that there haven’t been many more deaths and injuries.

            100

            • #
              AndyG55

              It r3eally is an inexcusable situation that needs to be remedied.

              As we saw on the NSW south coast and nearby Victoria, major roads became impassable for long periods of time as trees, often still smouldering, had to be cleared from the roads.

              90

        • #
          PeterW

          Why is the responsibility for keeping public land fires out of private land, to be thrown onto the victims?

          50

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Peter, yes Fuel reduction burns are needed.
        But they need to be done at the right time of the year
        When the humidity is high and winds are low.
        That is NOT now.
        Something else to consider :
        A huge swath of South East Australia has just been burned
        With bush fires.
        Those areas will not need fuel reduction burns for some years.
        It is the areas which have not suffered such bush fires will need attention
        In the coming Autumn & Winter.

        40

      • #
        shannon

        ” do they want blood on their hands”…….
        I think the “scare” of voters turning to OTHER parties, is proving to be more “catastrophic” !!

        20

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Todays RFS fire spread prediction map 10/01/2020

      The ACT could burn…time to dust off the old cold war bunkers….?

      Hume freeway both north and south of ACT could be cut soon?

      https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/image/0017/161108/Potential-fire-spread-prediction-incl-embers-A0.png

      40

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6574268/dont-be-in-the-path-of-these-fires-rfs-warning/?cs=14225

        “Firefighters are particularly concerned about the huge Dunns Road fire, which is burning on multiple fronts and has so far burnt through more than 313,000 hectares, and blazes burning to the north of Adaminaby, all of which are out of control.

        “The RFS has advised those living in the Brindabella and Goobragandra Valley areas, particularly south of Argalong and west of Brindabella Valley Road to leave early.
        “Do not be in the path of this fire,” the fire authority said.

        “Those living south of Tumbarumba and west of the Kosciuszko National Park have been issued similar warnings.

        “The RFS said fire danger in the Scabby Range Nature Reserve area will be extreme Friday, with the potential for fires burning in the area to behave erratically.
        On the South Coast, firefighters warn that fires including the huge Currowan blaze, the Charleys Forest fire could spread west, while there is a chance the Clyde Mountain fire could spread south and potentially link up with the Badja Forest Road blaze.
        It has warned those living in areas of potential fire spread that their communities may come under threat from embers or fire fronts.

        “”If your plan is to leave or you are not prepared, you should not be in this area on Friday,” the RFS said. “Move to a large town outside this area, or if you are on the South Coast, move to an area that has already been burnt or go to the beach. Stay away from the red areas.”

        40

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        MSM trying to whiteant the PM…doing a “trump” on him……

        This is Morrisons moment – show some backbone, tell the brain-dead MSM to pull their heads in, tell Labor to toe the line and take charge…or the MSM will eat you alive…..

        https://www.smh.com.au/national/can-a-damaged-pm-rise-from-the-ashes-20200109-p53q6r.html

        “Morrison is damaged and diminished by his response so far. His clumsiness in South Australia on Wednesday, when he spoke about “no loss of life” and had to be reminded that two men had died only days earlier, was the latest sign of this problem.

        “Morrison said on Thursday night he was speaking about volunteer firefighters when that remark was recorded. Yet he seems to be stuck in a pattern. There was the trickiness over his holiday in Hawaii, his unwillingness to stop and listen to Zoey Salucci-McDermott in Cobargo, and his strained conversation with a firefighter in the same town.

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      Dennis

      There are many excuses but before the National Parks were declared the State Forests were managed and the revenue from sustainable logging was available, also a much larger timber industry contributing jobs, economic stimulus and taxes revenue.

      Dam catchment areas were managed by water boards and authorities with water rates revenue.

      And before the gradual winding down of manufacturing industry (UN Lima Agreement 1975) there were many placed of employment and taxes revenue streams.

      Then consider the businesses lost (and jobs/taxes) from the electricity generation sector partial privatisation and transition to unreliable so called renewable energy.

      The Australian economy is still in reasonable shape but how much better would national prosperity and economy be now without the UN impact on sovereignty, and compliant governments permitting this?

      Fraser Island Queensland used to be managed by forestry workers and sustainable logging took place for decades, one of many State Forest examples in Australia, but it stopped when Agenda 30 started. My point being that having visited Fraser Island many times and I have friends who work there and who have family long term leasehold land with cabins there it is today almost impossible to detect where logging took place. But the land was better managed and now there is a fly in fly out daily group of NP&W Service Rangers who have high standard government accommodation on the Island. My information is a few years old now but I will ask again soon when I in Queensland, one mate is a tourist guide and coach driver and has been involved on the Island since he was a baby.

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        Dennis

        No mention of the build up of fuel on the ground after decades of neglecting land management.

        That’s why not natural climate change or climate change hoax.

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    And somewhat off-topic, I wish there was more of this:

    Scientists Were Wrong – Coral Reef Fish Not Affected by Ocean Acidification From Climate Change

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      AndyG55

      I saw that too.

      Funny how these still maintained the catastrophe meme, even though their evidence showed no such thing.

      Lets have another look at the composite of all ocean surface pH reading since 1900

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      Those who predicted that all ‘Glaciers Will All Be Gone By 2020’ signs would be removed from Montana’s Glacier National Park by 2020 have been proven correct.

      After the heartbreaking removal of most signs in 2019, the last signs are about to go in what can only be described as a Signaggedon.

      The Grinnell Glacier in the heart of the park was first reported as melting away in 1926…by Grinnell himself. Something to do with a Little Ice Age and a process beginning around 1850.

      There is hope that new signs will have a better and longer life as their forbears depart on a trail of tears toward an uncaring anonymous dumping ground somewhere in Montana. (Too much plastic for burning, quite apart from the emissions.)

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    The most deaths from any natural event in Australia resulted from the heatwave leading up to the 1939 fires.

    1938-9 was a La Nina flanked by neutral years. That’s right. The heatwave and fire forgot to read the literature.

    It’s well known that the 1896 event was mirrored by an event in the US in the same year: the ten day Eastern North America heat wave which killed 1,500. It’s less well known that our 1939 heat was mirrored by a peculiar autumn heat wave in the US which lasted well over a month. For example, from September 1 to October 9, 1939, Madison, Indiana averaged 95 degrees, had thirty-one days over 90 degrees, and eleven days over 100 degrees. On October 8, 1939 it was 100 degrees in Indiana. The heat then struck both coasts, by which time it was mid-autumn.

    Local bushfires preceded Black Friday. The Rubicon Forest fire killed twelve on the preceding Tuesday.

    A Royal Commission on the 1939 heatwave and fires recommended the installation of solar panels and wind turbines for future electricity needs, the use of racing yachts out of Monaco for overseas travel and the enforced payment of a carbon tax to a global body based in New York with the money skimmed by villains in places like Wall Street, Zurich and the City of London.

    I made up that last bit.

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      PeterS

      In the last bit you left out applying emissions reduction targets to stop global warming, tornadoes, cyclones and rising sea levels. Might as well add into that mix the stopping of volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis.

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      robert rosicka

      If Australia had adopted a strict Amish lifestyle back then we would still have the same droughts we have today .

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        PeterS

        That’s true. Also if Australia was never colonised the bush fires might actually be less severe today due to the locals conducting their own land management policy. Needless to say we can’t use the exact same approach as they did as that would be too risky for those who want to build and live in the bush. A more controlled approach can and should be used.

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          Our approach will definitely have to be controlled. Passing from neglect to management needs to be gradual. Locals with commonsense and experience will be needed. In many cases clearing rather than burning should be done. And we can expect initial costs and bother to be high till the situation comes under some control nationally.

          I’m concerned that changes to policy will be put in the hands of the same theorists and intellectuals who have been behind the present ruinous policies. Imagine that mob with a whole lot of quotas, statistics, master plans, schedules, models…and one box of matches in a roaring westerly.

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          Dennis

          Yes, I often point out that if the land before 1788 was not managed by the indigenous people explain why there were many grasslands discovered by white explorers and settlers after 1788 but when the grasslands were abandoned, National Parks declared and cattle grazing banned, now overgrown and disappearing, but that didn’t happen before 1788?

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            A bit of confusion…

            Cook reported on “meadows” which turned out to be coastal heath that looked green from a distance.

            However, as the First Fleeters started to get about in ’88 they likely encountered plenty of new grass by high summer (the big dry came a couple of years later). When you read the journals you quickly become aware of how much more easily they could move about then. There may have been clearings here and there but mostly the grass would have been under an old canopy. I dare say it was grass enough for the game it was meant to attract, but it would not have been enough for a lot of cattle. Up around the snowline it would have been a different matter. Summer grazing must have been sensational in some years.

            Accidental fire might still have been a problem in terrible conditions like those in the early 1790s but there would have been far less to burn at ground level after centuries of methodical cool burns. To a kouri of the 1700s our modern bush would be an unsurvivable hell.

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              Dennis

              I watched a video series on the early colonial days a couple of years ago, at one point cattle gone missing from Sydney Town was mentioned, the settlers blamed the Aborigines for stealing their cattle.

              The first white explorers who discovered what is now the Camden District south west of Sydney found the missing cattle happily grazing on grassland near a permanent water supply, all in good condition.

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            PeterW

            Those of us who spend a lot of time in the Vic Alps have more than once watched areas transition from open forest post fires, to dense and impenetrable scrub.

            No wonder Aboriginals burnt to keep it open. Open country means that you can travel, hunt and live safely.

            Throw in a drought, and that dense scrub becomes ladder fuels. If your burning regime is not frequent enough to keep the forest open, you are doing it wrong.

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            hatband

            Have a look at a vegetation Map of Australia, Dennis.

            The indigenes were burning their was to the coast.

            Sure, it may have been ”Controlled”.

            The fact is that once forest is completely burnt out, you get Grassland.

            Eventually, even the Grassland gets burnt out.

            Then you’ve got desert.

            If Australia hadn’t been discovered by 2020, it’s possible that the entire Continent

            would now bw desert.

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      Ken Davis

      Positive IOD is enough, even in La Nina, then add SAM to the equation – not the perfect storm, but enough.

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    Salome

    They wrote beautifully in those days, didn’t they? Meanwhile, this article from 2014 was linked on Facebook (in case it hasn’t turned up here): https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/victoria-bans-alpine-national-park-cattle-grazing-20141228-12eo45.html?fbclid=IwAR3Hgj2zI3pf0en9HFW3xe9IDvzsIGN-ISrBp4RupWWMqBwbe5EH4g5_DmQ
    More history, though more recent.

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    David Maddison

    Apologies if off topic but in regard to the previous blog post regarding satellite data, we thought satellite data was the only uncorrupted data we had left.

    Tony Heller has pointed out that satellite data too, is now being altered to fit the AGW hypothesis.

    See video: https://youtu.be/bOHrYY3yAGE

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    Ross

    O/T but I know there are many Australians with Greek heritage. Maybe they can help explain to other Australians how often this has happened in the past

    https://electroverse.net/freak-greek-snowstorm-traps-families-in-their-homes-for-10-days/

    I think I am correct in saying they had quite a bit of the white stuff in parts of Greece last NH winter. Is something changing ?

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      In the summer of 1971 I nearly fell down a glacier on the flanks of Mt Olympus. You could see sunny beaches in the distance but there was still ice on the mountain. Judging by the ski lifts on the Olympia side I’m guessing they got snow pretty regularly there. (I was rescued by goat herders who lived under bark shelters, would you believe!)

      Looking up from the tourist town of Litochoron (where I finished my adventure) one could see and hear storms rumbling constantly around the top of Olympus even though skies were clear and the weather was baking hot by the shore.

      1971 was the year I hitched right past Thermopylae and wondered where the pass was. Much later I found out that the pass was way over the other side of the busy road that was once under the sea. If you want to see how quickly a warmie can block his ears, just start talking about ancient and even not so ancient sea levels in famous places.

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    MurrayA

    Just a minor point of correction, Jo: the Black Friday temperature in Melbourne reached 113degF, which is 45degC. That stood as a record for many years, and weather records in the Age and the Sun (as it was then) regularly noted it as the city’s hottest day. I remember as a boy a hot day in Jan 1958 when the temp reached 112degF, which was proclaimed as “the hottest day since Black Friday” by the ABC news (back then the ABC was the gold standard of news reporting, which it is not now). This was, as I recall, the climax of a series of hot days before the cool change came at last.
    Furthermore, you would have heard the news reports that 2019 was the hottest year on record. A post on this wild claim would be appropriate.

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    beowulf

    Climate Change Played Minor Role In California Wildfires, Experts Conclude.

    Scott Stephens, a professor of fire science at the University of California, Berkeley, said 20% to 25% of the wildfire damage resulted from climate change, and “75% is the way we manage lands and develop our landscape.”

    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/01/09/climate-change-played-minor-role-in-california-wildfires-experts-conclude/

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    George4

    I am still not convinced that widespread prescribed burning like 10% of all our forest every year would be cost effective.
    I doubt it can be done anywhere near as cheaply as was once the case, in our era of OHS and lawyers. You need a team of men full time just to burn a few hundreds hectares.
    Who would pay the bill – higher taxes or rates ?
    At the moment people who choose to live next to forest pay for the risk with higher insurance premiums and negligibly higher safety risk.

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      Dennis

      Forestry and sustainable logging and the revenue from selling the timber, timber industry business company tax revenue, employee income tax revenue and economic stimulus impact on GDP economic performance improvement.

      Burning is only one tool for modern society, machinery can create fire trails and access roads, fire breaks and other bushfire season protection of the environment.

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        George4

        Sure sustainable logging is fine by me if it can make a profit and employ people and as an added bonus reduce the fire risk, that is great.
        Maybe they could have more wood trash burning electricity generators.

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        George4

        In a way prescribed burning is a waste of what could be a valuable renewable energy resource.
        There is huge amount of carbohydrate energy created by photosynthesis in the wood.
        Couldn’t we burn some of it in electricity power stations and reduce the bushfire risk that way ?
        Even if it used half the energy to collect and process, it still leaves a lot.
        Hot generator fire – no smoke, no health hazard.
        Prescribed burn – oodles of smoke, complaint galore.

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        John McClure

        Well said Dennis, a holistic view of water management, forestry management, land management, the regional economies, etc. are required for definitive solutions.

        Here’s an example springboard to mitigation:
        https://news.stanford.edu/2019/09/30/new-treatment-prevents-wildfires/
        September 20, 2019

        Stanford researchers have developed a gel-like fluid to prevent wildfires
        Scientists and engineers worked with state and local agencies to develop and test a long-lasting, environmentally benign fire-retarding material. If used on high-risk areas, the simple, affordable treatment could dramatically cut the number of fires that occur each year.

        If this can be regionally manufactured, it will employ hundreds of people and help to prevent forest fires.

        Also, water is useful to fight fires. Has anyone looked into the idea of using desalination plants to help load the various aquifers / basins prior to and during the dry seasons? I realize one of the basins is nearly 23% of the size of Australia yet managing these water storage resources is a must regardless of wet or dry conditions.

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          John McClure

          Tease:
          Since the status quo mistakenly believe CO2 is the enemy and sea level rise is an issue, why not use popular opinions to address both issues in an economically advantageous way?

          Desalination plants located next to clean coal power plants addresses the water consumption issue related to coal fired power, reduces sea levels, yields potable water, can theoretically help to maintain Basins thus fire fighting etc., and with very little magic convert flue gas including CO2 using sea water. Note, salt water is a huge CO2 sink so why not use it for flue gas.

          Salt water can also be used to create fuels including jet fuel.

          The world needs innovative and holistic solutions not carbon trade nonsense.

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      At the moment people who choose to live next to forest pay for the risk with higher insurance premiums and negligibly higher safety risk.

      There could be problems of a different nature in years following what has happened here.

      Insurance Companies will pay up on what has happened here, but I can see assessors telling the owner who plans to rebuild that they will not insure them in the future, because of the huge risk now associated with living in or this close to the ‘bush’. Once that happens, those who do plan to rebuild will not get Insurance from anywhere.

      The problem is then that with building costs in this fire prone areas now skyrocketing, those who do rebuild will be requiring Mortgages, and they will not get a Mortgage without insurance, you can bet on that.

      Those who then continue to live in these areas will have to pay for it all themselves, do it at their own risk, and without any Insurance coverage, and if they get burned out again, I can foresee the taxpayer being asked to foot the bill, and in fact, that is already happening now.

      Costly all round, only now, not just for those who choose to live where they do, but accepting the risk for that ….. on behalf of all the rest of us.

      Tony.

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        liberator

        After all of the floods way back when, 2010?, there were big changes to flood insurance. The RACV made it compulsory to have flood insurance if you had a policy with them. They looked at flood assessments on the land you were on and calculated the risk. Based on that risk your insurance went up, if not at all, or just a little, to some premiums increasing 300%+ Lots of customers dropped out of the RACV and found companies that didn’t make it compulsory. But if you built/lived in a flood prone area would you risk it, or expect the citizens to help you out?

        The same should happen when living in the bush, if you’re in a high risk area you pay the price. Either risk it and don’t insure (you can’t if you have a mortgage) or insure it (if they let you at an exorbitant price.)

        Insurance is about risk, you, in having some assurances you will be covered in the event of a loss and the insurance company hoping that their risk on you is low and you wont make any claims. Why should my insurance premiums go up to cover those who choose to live in high risk areas? The premium should be totally based on risk and the insurance companies need to make sure those who choose high risk areas (fire flood or whatever) pay the appropriate $ to cover the risk.

        I’d love to live in the bush, or close to it but it’s just too unsafe, same as living on river floodplains – it’s safe for many years but then its not.

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        George4

        I foresee in the future new houses in fire zones being built fire proof from non flammable materials, and clearance immediately around infrastructure.
        Problem solved, low insurance premium and virtually no deaths.

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          Dennis

          Many decades ago the company I worked for cooperated with the CSIRO Building Division when they were working out how to bushfire proof houses, and that included no garden vegetation fuel for ember attack close to the house.

          From the roof down: water sprinkler system along the peak of the roof and down to a suitable tap with a dangling quick connection, a water pump, guttering leaf guard of metal preferably secured not just inserted, downpipes with a blocking system to use water in guttering to protect the house, heavy duty metal insect screening on windows and doors (security screens that protect against illegal entry excellent fire guards even better to reflect radiant heat), built on a floating concrete slab to avoid embers or fire getting under the house, double glazed windows, moving door seals attached to all doors leading outside to stop embers, and others.

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            George4

            I remember seeing videos of CSIRO experiments where they put their fire resistant houses through actual bushfires and they survived intact.
            It can be done and I think the current building code is quite strict.
            Hopefully after these bushfires it will be enforced and further destruction is gradually reduced to low levels.
            I personally would like to see flammable materials like wood not used in fire zones, but I doubt that will ever happen.

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            Chris

            As a child in Victoria, every summer bush fire ads were run continuously on all television stations.
            ‘Clean the rubbish away, cut the grass, rake up the leaves, cut down overhanging branches, clear the gutters, store firewood and fuels away from the house . If a fire comes, block the gutters and fill with water, block cracks around windows and doors, take down the curtains and blinds, push furniture to the centre of the room.
            Assume the electricity will be cut off. Don’t light fires or barbecues, or use grinders or blow torches on total fireban days. Do not throw cigarettes out of a car window. Assume the worst and be prepared. ‘

            Certainly people were more aware of the potential for fire than they have been recently.

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              TdeF

              Great points. I think they could also warn of the criminal penalties for the opportunists and censure for young firelighters. We cannot eliminate arson, but we can reduce both accidental fires and intentional ones with public information. Perhaps half the effort taken to warn people about the disastrous consequences of 1.2C increase in temperature and how it changes climate dramatically.

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            hatband

            You used to be able to tell the bushies in the City by their yards.

            Not a single tree or shrub in the yard, and if there was any sort of a garden, it was well

            away from the house.

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      PeterW

      George.

      Farmers routinely burn hundreds of hectares with minimal manpower and basic equipment.

      The current programs are expensive because they are focused on the high-risk areas around population centres and the urban interface. Applied to large areas of more remote country and the cost per ha drops precipitously.

      Strive to remember that you theories do not trump the fact that is HAS BEEN DONE, and for far less $$ than you seem to imagine.

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        George4

        Well if it can be done cheaply, by someone dropping incendiaries from a little plane or something, without lots of manpower, then I guess that would be OK.
        I still have some doubts about its effectiveness in the really extreme bushfires under super dry hot conditions, when it blows straight through the crown of prescribed burn areas.
        Cool burns also seem to produce like 10x the smoke of a hot burn per unit of fuel burnt.
        Whether that may be a consideration against widespread frequent prescribed burning IDK.

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          Dennis

          Already being done in the WA Kimberly Region and NT Kakadu National Park by rangers indigenous included, applying the traditional seasonal burning of patches burnt in rotation every several years burning patches every year.

          And using helicopters and modern fire lighting and fighting equipment.

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      PeterW

      Our friends in Western Australia have managed to do it on a broad scale and with good effect. They did it for some decades, abandoned it, and watched their wildfires accelerate. They have resumed HR over the last three years with an annual target of 8% of managed lands.

      If they can do it, what makes you think that we can’t?

      Also, it is not “wasting” energy if there is no cost-effective way of collecting and utilising it.

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    TdeF

    While we are told Climate Change is responsible for every natural disaster, there is a real consequence of 50% more CO2 in a century and this has to be recognized. Consider crop yields which have gone up 8x since 1870 and 2x since 1960. Great as world population is 6x in the same time.

    However for bushfires, where a 50% increase in a trace gas obviously has little direct impact on temperatures from summer to winter and is a total failure as a constant ‘blanket’, the extra CO2 will increase wild growth by 50% too.

    So whatever the fuel reduction burns were planned in 1960, they need to be doubled.

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      TdeF

      That is not climate change. That is simple schoolboy science which no one is pointing out.

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      • #

        Not being a school boy, I can’t see it. What caused that increase in yield do you think?

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          AndyG55

          “Not being a school boy,”

          Yes, we realise you have yet to reach that stage of mental development.. !

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          el gordo

          Industrial CO2 is making our eucalyptus forrest more robust, better start the culling before it gets worse.

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            OriginalSteve

            In theory, if the status quo of inept fuel management is maintained, more CO2 = more fuel, so every 10-15 years we will get bigger and bigger fires….until the climate chnage liars tels us ( as per agenda 21 /Rewilding ) that its “too dangerous” for people to live in those areas and people are locked out, permenantly.

            As per plan….

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          el gordo

          While you’re there Leaf, in a future Royal Commission what would you include in the terms of reference?

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          • #

            Well, off the top of my head, keep it compact so it doesn’t run forever for a start. The next issue is whether it is about causes or operational response matters and since these are two distinct things that happen at two different levels I’d stick to causes – which doesn’t preclude inclusion of relevant response outcomes of earlier decisions.

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              el gordo

              Yeah … but what about carbon dioxide and climate? Is there nothing in your brief?

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              • #

                If someone wants to make a submission re CO2 it would be included under causes.

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                el gordo

                How about this angle, some trees are bad for the planet.

                ‘According to Greenpeace, around 8 billion tons of CO2 are released by fire every year. This is about half as much as the emissions caused by the burning of coal around the world. The bushfires in Australia have already released half the amount of CO2 that the continent would otherwise produce during typical year.’

                So I suggest massive culling of combustible trees.

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        • #
          TdeF

          And who needs school when you have Google?

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        • #

          So agricultural science, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides play no role in boosting the growth responses of plants. Add to that more plants per unit area – yield being a land area metric.

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            TdeF

            Please look at the graphics. No, not so much since 1960. A big change from 1900 though. In fact we use pesticides and herbicides a lot less in the new ‘organic’ age if only because we meter things better and we understand plant nutrition better and there are chemical engineers involved, even in making wine.

            The limits to growth and photosynthesis are three, water and CO2 and sunshine. Temperature too, but that has only changed 1.2C in a century. The other only significant change is with genetically engineered plants, but these are proving hard to market. As for the number of plants per unit area, the limit is sunshine and crowding.

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            • #

              geez I better get onto my plant breeding research mates, they’ll want to chat to you and start looking for new work.

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                TdeF

                Another meaningless attempted put down. Do you actually have anything to contribute?

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                el gordo

                ‘Nearly all woody species respond to increases in the air’s CO2 content by displaying enhanced rates of photosynthesis and biomass production. Because elevated CO2 enhances photosynthetic rates in eucalyptus species, this phenomenon should lead to increased biomass production in these rapidly growing trees. ( CO2 Science)

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                AndyG55

                Yep, you have obviously forgotten anything you might once have pretended to know.

                Go back and start again.. Learn properly this time.

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              Peter Fitzroy

              Trace Elements? are they no longer necessary? Soil type is now irrelevant?

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            PeterW

            GA…
            Stop pretending.

            We have become better at producing crops… BUT the increased vegetative growth is also occurring in non-agricultural areas.

            You know this.

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              TdeF

              Even the CSIRO has had to belatedly admit this, the general greening of Australia. However I am puzzled that they had to discover it, rather than expected it. And the explanation is better pesticides?

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              • #

                Ok… let’s get down to basics. A simple question that arises from what appear to be made up stuff. What evidence do you have that most of the doubling of crop yield since 1960 something is due to the increase in [CO2]?

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              • #
                AndyG55

                Very odd that someone who pretends to know things about biology is so blatantly ignorant of plant-life response to increased atmospheric CO2.

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              • #

                Tdef… or someone else who can read. Doubling of crop YIELD since 1960. That is real production crops doubling their output per hectare. Specifically data on that.

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                TdeF

                Andy, great data. Say for Common Wheat [Triticum durum] an increase of 300% (near doubling) produced an increase of 39.1%. An increase of 600ppm a dramatic increase in yield of 63.3%. However an increase of 900pm (tripling) produced only an increase in crop weight of 34%.

                There are hundreds of species tested and 450 trials for common wheat, so this is all very well known science. And wheat is a grass of course, so it would correspond to the forest floor cover.

                Of course it is not linear and it seems that CO2 can suppress growth when too much is supplied, so there is something else going on, but overall CO2 increase does increase plant dry weight substantially. Perhaps there are simply natural limits to growth and a balance between CO2 and H2O is critical as well.

                Overall it seems to be very well documented science that we can expect substantial increases from the 50% increase in CO2 since 1900. And this has real implications for prescribed burn frequency if we are to keep fuel loads down.

                In fact with such a table, it might be possible to predict the total growth.

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                TdeF

                And the vastly increased CO2 exchange rate in photosynthesis 68% for 300ppm increase and 80% for the 900ppm increase, so the rate of photosynthesis can be a limiting factor. I suspect this would be because in a given time, there is only so much incident ultra violet. As said, the three source factors are CO2, H2O and sunlight but the scalability of the process for a given plant is an unknown. This data suggests the Durum What scales very nicely but the other data indicates the light input does not keep up with the increased CO2. CO2 can also inhibit other processes, like the plant’s own respiration.

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                AndyG55

                “or someone else who can read”

                Read the words GA,

                We don’t expect you to actually comprehend..

                But at least try.

                https://sofistic.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/wheat-yield-bushels-per-acre1.jpg?w=450

                Just do a web search for wheat yields , or whatever your chosen crop, and the data is the for you.

                Don’t be so helpless. !

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                Tdef… that’s is not what you implied and that is not evidence for it. What was the contribution of CO2 increase in the last 50 years to a doubling of crop yield compared with all other sources of yield improvement. Thanks… I’ll check by tomorrow to see as I find lots of publications that point to all the other causes. I see you writing volumes of assertions, it would be nice to see some of them supported by something other than your ability to write a lot.

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                TdeF

                I also noted that not all experiments were conducted with increases of 300ppm, 600ppm and 900ppm but the data was corrected with a simple scaling from CO2 concentration. So to first order it is accepted that dry weight scales with CO2. As I have been suggesting.

                This is no news then. The entire agroscience industry has been working on CO2 scaling of plant growth for decades. Why then was the increase in vegetation with CO2 such a surprise to everyone, including the CSIRO?

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                Peter Fitzroy

                No CSIRO did not – the greening is the side effect of more chloroplasts in dryland plants, biomass production did not change.

                Also if you read the coal funded CO2 Science, you will note, and with amazement, that all other potentially limiting factors were removed to achieve those impressive growth rates. Also noted, but not in the coal funded CO2 Science, is that for plants with those turbo charged growth rates is that their nutritional values decreased. But as deniers, CO2 science should never ever publish that.

                So give a plant everything it needs to grow fast and big, and guess what happens?

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              • #
                el gordo

                ‘ … and guess what happens?’

                Its culled as a renewable resource, but to be fair, the early greening may have come about through human ingenuity.

                ‘The Green Revolution, or Third Agricultural Revolution, is a set of research technology transfer initiatives occurring between 1950 and the late 1960s, that increased agricultural production worldwide, particularly in the developing world, beginning most markedly in the late 1960s.’

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              • #
                TdeF

                Quoting the CSIRO’s own report, nothing to do with chloroplasts. Utter rubbish. Again.

                “In findings based on satellite observations, CSIRO, in collaboration with the Australian National University (ANU), found that this CO2 fertilisation correlated with an 11 per cent increase in foliage cover from 1982-2010 across parts of the arid areas studied in Australia, North America, the Middle East and Africa”

                It is interesting in a rough check that in the time of the 11% increase in foliage cover over 30 years, CO2 increased (30/120)*50 or 12.5%. QED.

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              • #
                AndyG55

                Can’t argue the science or the effect, so goes for the funding.

                [snip]

                And no, the nutritional value DOES NOT decrease,

                That study was fraught with ineptitude.

                Properly grown CO2 enriched plants INCREASE in nutritional value.

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              • #
                AndyG55

                Even in that inept CSIRO study, % nutrition decreased by LESS THAN the % growth in mass.

                So the nutrition value actually increased, as well doing more to feed people.

                Put that with the HUGE gains in yield, and you get a win-win-win situation.

                Properly grown CO2 enriched vegetable and other plant actually increase in % nutrients as well.

                You just have to make proper compensation for the rapid growth rate.

                Hydroponic and greenhouse grows know this fact.

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              • #
                Peter Fitzroy

                As GA said, find someone to read it to you

                06

              • #
                AndyG55

                It won’t be you, your comprehension levels are less than zero.

                You never read your own links anyway, and even if you could you wouldn’t comprehend.

                You just make stuff up that isn’t there.

                Both you and he seem to be totally clueless about plant growth and nutrients.

                Nothing surprising about that, is there.

                Still waiting for that paper that shows warming by atmospheric CO2.

                Your last cut and paste was an empty mess.

                Nothing in it at all.

                If there was, you would be able to point exactly where and in which link.

                Seems that you just regurgitate what someone feeds you, with zero comprehension of the content of any of it

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              • #
                el gordo

                ‘Modelling indicates that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration of 50 parts per million over the last 50 years increased yield potential by 2–8%. The 0.8°C increase in average temperature over the period benefited wheat crops during the winter months and accelerated maturity. These changes have worked to offset some of the harmful effects of more hot days during grain filling.’

                WA Dept Primary Industries

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    • #
      PeterW

      It’s not just about matter production per se.

      It’s also about life cycles and species management.

      A properly designed fuel management program uses frequency/timing of burns to suppress the dense scrub understory that provides both fuel mass and the elevated fine fuels that take fire into the canopy, creating crown fires.

      That is why native burning practices were aimed at producing the mostly open, grassy forests that the early settlers found and described.

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  • #
    WXcycles

    This is a terrifically enlightening post Jo, your blog is presenting “The reality-check we had to have”.

    Today we’re going to have the “hazard-reduction” burn we were always going to have, whether we wanted one, or not. Regardless of soft-headed obstructionists imagining they were doing good and saving lovely critters, and the assorted warbling hysterics who hasten to save the world, resulting in the opposite.

    What a shambles of foolish good-intention. Today’s flare ups will probably burn quite a lot of national parks and several towns.

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    • #
      TdeF

      And an unanswered question is whether the 50% more CO2 means not only more total growth over time but also more rapid growth in a given time, which means reducing fuel load will have to be 50% more frequent.

      As above, I cannot see a change of 1.2C in a century, so called Global Warming even being detectable, but a 50% increase in food supply is a real issue for fuel load management.

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      • #
        PeterW

        No…

        Additional growth does not necessarily mean proportional increases in burning frequency.

        As mentioned above, it’s a matter of species manipulation and life-cycles.

        20

    • #
      hatband

      A shambles of foolish good intentions, you claim.

      Here’s the problem with that scenario.

      The Royal Commissioner stated that the Vic. Board of Works insisted that once the canopy regrew, the ground wouldn’t support a fire.

      Barring fire, perhaps that could happen..

      Then he concluded that the fires were ”lit by human hand”.

      The exact same thing has happened again.

      Now, some people are going to say don’t attribute to malice what you can put down to stupidity.

      The problem with that thesis is that these were/are not stupid people.

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    pat

    ABC still has an agenda…read all:

    10 Jan: ABC: ‘Oxygen Farm’ of remnant rainforest helped save Elands village from bushfires, residents say
    ABC Mid North Coast By Wiriya Sati, Cameron Marshall and Emma Siossian
    While weather and wind conditions played a part, local residents believe a block of protected remnant rainforest, known as the Oxygen Farm, helped save Elands.
    The area of about 1,000 acres which backs onto Elands was bought by a group of locals around 30 years ago to prevent it from being used for logging.

    Part of the land was turned into a conservation area and in 1993 The Oxygen Farm Association signed a voluntary conservation agreement.
    “The name is a bit of a misnomer really, it’s more of a carbon farm and biodiversity reserve, but we thought it was a catchy term,” resident Mike Roze said.
    “It’s protected by the agreement, which says we have certain requirements we have to uphold — to prevent the invasion of feral species, we need to maintain it, we need to have a fire plan, we need to have a management plan.”

    ‘I was praying to the tree god’
    Mr Roze said the wetter forest had helped slow the bushfire which raged through the region late last year…
    The wet rainforest would change to a dry sclerophyll forest if it burnt regularly, Mr Roze said, so it could be an issue in future.

    “We really are in climate change, this is really dry weather, this is the first time that fire has been through in a long time and it shouldn’t have really gone through a wet rainforest.
    “I don’t think it’ll ever return to normal and I’m fearful that this is the future and we’re just going to have to learn to cope with it.”

    Jane Watson is another founding member of the conservation group and also lives beside the Oxygen Farm.
    She said while the wet rainforest certainly helped protect Elands from the fire, luck also played a role.
    “As a good atheist, I was praying to the tree god of the Oxygen Farm that they do their work and protect us — and maybe they have,” she said.
    “But, honestly, we were just lucky the wind was coming up the south side, and had it been 10 degrees in the other direction, it would have whooshed up the valley.
    “But it may have to do with micro-geographical climates, that may have played a part.”
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-10/oxygen-farm-helped-save-village-from-bushfires-residents-say/11852152

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    pat

    BBC has an agenda…watch & listen to the very end:

    VIDEO: 2m50s: 9 Jan: BBC: Australia fires: Debunking ‘arson emergency’ claims
    The past week has seen a surge of claims on social media that arson is to blame for most of Australia’s massive bushfires.
    But these have mostly been based on inaccurate reporting of police figures, as BBC Outside Source’s Ros Atkins explains
    https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-australia-51043826/australia-fires-debunking-arson-emergency-claims

    not worthy of a video debunking:

    7 Jan: BBC: Australia fires: Misleading maps and pictures go viral
    By Georgina Rannard
    Artist’s visualisation misinterpreted
    One image shared widely by Twitter users, including by singer Rihanna, was interpreted as a map showing the live extent of fire spread, with large sections of the Australian coastline molten-red and fiery
    But it is actually artist Anthony Hearsey’s visualisation of one month of data of locations where fire was detected, collected by Nasa’s Fire Information for Resource Management System…

    Misleading symbols
    Another widely shared map of flame icons dotted across the country claims to show “all the fires burning in Australia”.
    It is taken from the Australian government website MyFireWatch, which uses satellite data to map heat sources.
    However the data incorporates “any heat source that is hotter than its surroundings… This may include gas flares, refinery furnaces or highly reflective large industrial roofs”, according to its website.
    That means that the symbols are not guaranteed to indicate actual fires…

    Another issue is that the hotspot symbols do not represent the actual size of fires or the danger posed by them.
    Screenshots of maps shared on social media like this often omit important details from the originals, such as the level of risk posed by fire and whether it is under control…

    As some Twitter users pointed out, maps that claim to show the size of the affected area by “overlaying” Australia on to other continents like North America and Europe are not completely accurate.
    This is due to how how the curved earth is distorted when flat map projections are made…

    How BBC News made maps of Australia fires…MAP…READ ON
    https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-51020564

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  • #
    pat

    headline on ABC “Just In” page:

    Alpine resorts in danger amid ‘extreme’ fire conditions in NSW
    By Bellinda Kontominas and Jamie McKinnell

    10 Jan: ABC: NSW fire threat to worsen as hot temperatures, erratic winds bear down on several areas
    By Bellinda Kontominas and Jamie McKinnell
    New South Wales’ alpine resorts will likely be in the path of major blazes today as the state braces for “dangerous and difficult” fire conditions.Updated about an hour ago…
    A blaze destroyed Selwyn Snow Resort at the weekend and nearby Perisher and Thredbo are at risk today, with fire danger in the area rated “extreme”…

    RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the Southern Slopes were expected to be the worst-affected area today.
    “Everywhere south of Tumut, all the way down through Kosciuszko, and you have got places like our alpine resorts — Thredbo, Perisher, Guthega,” he said.
    Mr Fitzsimmons said several smaller fires burning in the area had “every potential” to join together under Friday’s conditions…
    On top of the “extreme” rating in the Southern Slopes, the fire danger is rated severe across the Monaro Alpine, Southern Ranges and Eastern Riverina…

    Temperatures inland will be particularly high, with the mercury expected to hit 45 degrees Celsius in Griffith, 43C in Wagga Wagga, and 36C in Cooma, while winds will tend north-westerly…
    Firefighters across the state took advantage of cooler weather over the past few days to strengthen containment lines ahead of today…
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-10/nsw-bushfire-weather-conditions-hot-damaging-winds/11855538

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    pat

    theirABC explains:

    10 Jan: ABC Explainer: What are hazard reduction burns, are we doing enough of them, and could they have stopped Australia’s catastrophic bushfires?
    By Elise Kinsella and Will Jackson
    Some argue that poorly managed fuel loads are the main culprit behind the increasing fire threat and we need to ramp up deliberate burns.
    Others say that while hazard reduction burns are useful for risk reduction, they are not the “silver bullet” some proclaim, and their benefits are sometimes outweighed by costs and risks…

    Do hazard reduction burns actually work?
    The short answer is “sometimes”…
    However, research has shown that as weather conditions get hotter, drier and windier, fuel reduction becomes less effective…
    Canberra-based environmental scientist Cormac Farrell, who specialises in bushfire protection, says fuel reduction works well in milder conditions when blazes are mainly driven by the availability of fuel…

    Why don’t we do more hazard reduction burns?
    These burns are not without risks and need to be conducted in specific conditions — sometimes described as “Goldilocks weather”…
    Former Victorian environment minister John Thwaites says the 2005 Wilsons Promontory fire demonstrated the dangers of prescribed burns in unsuitable weather conditions…

    Mr Thwaites, who is now a professorial fellow at Monash University and chairs the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and ClimateWorks Australia, says fuel reduction burns are important but climate change is reducing their effectiveness…

    Could more burns have reduced the severity of our recent catastrophic bushfires?
    On this key question, the experts are divided…
    “Really, given the extent of these fires that are going on at the moment, hazard reduction burning is unlikely to have had a major impact,” (Melbourne University Associate Professor Trent Penman) says…
    Mr Farrell agrees.
    “Under catastrophic conditions I don’t think hazard reduction burns would have made a huge difference, to be honest,” he says…
    NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons says claims by some politicians that “Greenies” have disrupted prescribed burning are not true…
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-10/hazard-reduction-burns-bushfire-prevention-explainer/11853366

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  • #
    kevin a

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lr1BthxyX7s&feature=em-uploademail
    Australian Bushfire Destroys 8,000-Year-Old Aboriginal Rock Art | Ancient Architects

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  • #
    pat

    follow-up to mosomoso – reply #3.2 -

    8 Jan: CNN: Glacier National Park is replacing signs that predicted its glaciers would be gone by 2020
    by Christina Maxouris and Andy Rose
    The signs in the Montana park were added more than a decade ago to reflect climate change forecasts at the time by the US Geological Survey, park spokeswoman Gina Kurzmen told CNN.

    In 2017, the park was told by the agency that the complete melting off of the glaciers was no longer expected to take place so quickly due to changes in the forecast model, Kurzmen said. But tight maintenance budgets made it impossible for the park to immediately change the signs.
    The most prominent placards, at St. Mary Visitor Center, were changed last year. Kurzmen says that park is still waiting for budget authorization to update signs at two other locations.

    But the glacier warning isn’t being removed entirely, she told CNN. Instead, the new signs will say: “When they will completely disappear depends on how and when we act. One thing is consistent: the glaciers in the park are shrinking.
    Humans are responsible, scientist says…
    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/08/us/glaciers-national-park-2020-trnd/index.html?utm_content=2020-01-08T11%3A35%3A42&utm_source=twCNN&utm_term=link&utm_medium=social

    9 Jan: NewsIndia: Several parts of North India in grip of cold wave
    In Uttarakhand, continuous snowfall in hills and rain in some other parts have thrown life out of gear. Power and water supply have been disrupted in many areas due to heavy snow. Road connectivity has also been affected in hilly areas of the state. Met department has predicted more rain and snowfall in Kumaun region of the state.

    Cold wave conditions further intensified in most parts of Punjab and Haryana, with the minimum temperature dropping a few degrees below normal…
    Punjab with a low of 2.2 degrees Celsius, one notch below normal.
    In Haryana, Hisar was the coldest place with a minimum of 3.2 degrees Celsius, four degrees below normal. Chandigarh recorded a minimum of 6.7 degrees Celsius. A thick blanket of fog also enveloped Chandigarh, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Adampur, Halwara, Bathinda, Hisar, Karnal, Rohtak and Sirsa…

    Meanwhile, the work to clear snow from roads is on. 879 roads in the state are blocked after widespread snowfall yesterday. Shimla police has issued an advisory to the public to remain cautious while driving and even moving on foot as roads might be slippery even after clearing of snow. Power and water supply has been adversely affected in parts of the state due to heavy snowfall. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has directed deputy commissioners of various districts to restore essential services in the state at the earliest…
    Moreover the icy cold winds sweeping the national capital, Delhi brought down minimum temperature this morning…
    http://www.newsonair.com/News?title=Cold-wave-conditions-intensify-as-parts-of-North-India-receive-fresh-rain-%26-snowfall&id=377431

    9 Jan: Hindustan Times: Sun visible after two days, but does little to kill the chill

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  • #
    Peter

    In respect to the length of the fire seasons in Australia, the following link is from Bush Fire Control in Australia 1961 , which documents the extents of the fire seasons.

    I expect they are no different today than they were understood to be 60 Years ago.

    https://volunteerfirefighters.org.au/bush-fire-control-australia-1961

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  • #
    Dennis

    I have found out that not many people are aware of the groups of greenism with very high wealth individuals who are members that have been buying farmland from deceased estates and turning them into back to nature fire hazards, and havens for feral animals, much to the dismay of the owners of surrounding farmland.

    My point being that it only takes a few decades before the area is no longer the farmland that is was. And this is the history of State Government land converted into State managed National Parks listed with the UN, and UN Agenda 30 -Sustainability agenda. We had farmland acquired late 1800s in NSW that was sold late 1960s. Today there is “natural bushland” I have been told and when I reply that it used to be farmland where cattle and horses were grazed people have expressed surprise. When a relative attempted to get a development application for housing during the 1970s the local Greens protested about destruction of natural bushland and Council agreed that it must be preserved, but rates were levied.

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  • #
    Furiously curious

    I’m looking at this picture, and going, wow , that’s some picture.
    But then I’m going, how come there’s so little smoke from the burning areas, even though some of them must be kilometers wide ? That seems a little unusual??

    https://therealnews.com/stories/australia-fire-denying-climate-change-wont-save-you

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  • #
    pat

    learn to code:

    8 Jan: SantaMariaTimes: Proposed ban on gas-powered lawn equipment worries Santa Maria-area landscapers
    California regulators have proposed a ban on the sale of gas-powered landscaping equipment, worrying Santa Maria Valley landscapers who say the move would impact their ability to serve their clients.
    State regulators with the California Air Resources Board said they plan to ask board members to sign off on a plan by the end of the year to gradually reduce the emissions from items like lawn mowers and leaf blowers to zero.
    The move is an important one to reduce air pollution, said Karen Caesar, a spokeswoman for the board…
    According to CARB, running the best-selling leaf blower for one hour releases as much smog-forming pollution as driving a 2017 Toyota Camry from Los Angeles to Denver…

    Neil Towery, general manager of All Weather Landscape Maintenance in Santa Maria, said the biggest issue with electric equipment is not the cost but performance.
    “A single battery is only good for a limited amount of time,” he said…
    “When you’re talking about mowing a school, an electric piece of equipment to mow an area that big doesn’t exist,” he said. “You’d have to change 12 batteries to mow one grass area — that’s insane.”…
    https://santamariatimes.com/news/local/proposed-ban-on-gas-powered-lawn-equipment-worries-santa-maria/article_0dc05c04-ac7a-5319-9e09-2eba2fefc5d4.html

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    • #
      robert rosicka

      Libs snuck this through a couple of years back with the help of One Nation and we too will have laws banning two strokes soon .

      20

    • #
      Another Ian

      “According to CARB, running the best-selling leaf blower for one hour releases as much smog-forming pollution as driving a 2017 Toyota Camry from Los Angeles to Denver…”

      Way back in BC there was a GM engineer quoted claiming that a 750 cc (IIRC about 45 cid) Norton Commando was more polluting than a 454 cid GM car engine – maths not shown

      10

  • #
    Deplorable Lord Kek

    So the hot and dry conditions in Australia are not the result of muh climate change but a natural event:

    Indian Ocean Dipole: What is it and why is it linked to floods and bushfires?

    Flooding and landslides in East Africa have killed dozens of people and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes. Meanwhile, thousands of miles away in Australia, a period of hot, dry weather has led to a spate of bushfires.

    Both weather events have been linked to higher-than-usual temperature differences between the two sides of the Indian Ocean – something meteorologists refer to as the Indian Ocean Dipole.

    Temperatures in the eastern part of the ocean oscillate between warm and cold compared with the western part, cycling through phases referred to as “positive”, “neutral” and “negative”.

    Andrew Watkins, head of long-range forecasts at the bureau, said the dipole was crucial to understanding the heatwave.

    “The key culprit of our current and expected conditions is one of the strongest positive Indian Ocean dipole events on record,” he says.

    But don’t forget the obligatory catastrophic global warming ™ shout out (it’s worse than they thought):

    Extreme climate and weather events caused by the dipole are predicted to become more common in the future as greenhouse gas emissions increase.

    Of course it must be climate change because this is “one of the strongest positive Indian Ocean dipole events on record”

    Nevermind that events of similar magnitude have occurred without assistance from the diabolic trace gas known as co2.

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    pat

    behind paywall:

    8 Jan: WaPo Capital Weather Gang: Earth posts second-hottest year on record to close out our warmest decade
    By Andrew Freedman and Jason Samenow
    The planet registered its second-hottest year on record in 2019, capping off a five-year period that ranks as the warmest such span in recorded history. In addition, the 2010s will go down in history as the planet’s hottest decade, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S)…
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2020/01/08/earth-posts-second-hottest-year-record-close-out-series-exceptionally-warm-years

    not quite global:

    7 Jan: Carbon Brief: Guest post: A Met Office review of the UK’s weather in 2019
    by Dr Mark McCarthy (science manager of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre)
    Last year was warmer, wetter and sunnier than average for most of the UK, and finished as the 11th warmest, 11th wettest, and 15th sunniest year on record…READ ON
    https://www.carbonbrief.org/guest-post-a-met-office-review-of-the-uks-weather-in-2019

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    • #
      Maptram

      In the second link there is the following table of the top 11 average temperatures for the UK as evidence that climate change is causing warming.

      Rank Year Average Temperature (degrees C)
      1 2014 9.91
      2 2006 9.73
      3 2011 9.64
      4 2007 9.59
      5 2017 9.56
      6 2003 9.50
      7 2018 9.49
      8 2004 9.47
      9 2002 9.47
      10 2005 9.45
      11 2019 9.42

      I don’t know whether anyone else has noticed but to me the table also shows that the UK has cooled from 2014 onwards with 2014 at No 1, 2017 at 5, 2018 at 7 and 2019 at 11. From 2014 onwards the UK has cooled, as measured by average temperature, by 0.49°C.

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    pat

    9 Jan: Guardian: Australia records worst December fire conditions after its hottest, driest year
    Australia’s six hottest days on record were all in December 2019 and average rainfall across the country that month was the lowest on record
    by Adam Morton
    Nearly all of New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia, most of the Northern Territory, significant parts of Victoria including east Gippsland and populated areas in south-western Western Australia and north-eastern Tasmania set new records for accumulated fire risk for December, the Bureau of Meteorology says.

    Most of the rest of the country, including southern Victoria and Tasmania, had scores on the forest fire danger index that were “very much above average” – in the worst 10% recorded.
    The index was developed by the CSIRO in the 1960s, combining data for temperature, wind speed, humidity and dryness. It does not consider the amount of fuel available or how the fire started…READ ON
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/09/bushfires-crisis-more-than-75-of-australia-had-worst-weather-conditions-on-record-last-month

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    • #
      Graeme#4

      There is NO trend in the yearly rainfall. Yes, 2019 was a dry year, but there have been six very dry years in the last 120 years, including 1939. Over the last 70 years, 33 years had above-average rainfall, 47%. Our most recent year with lots of rain was 2010.

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  • #
    pat

    EXIT-ING COMMERCIAL FINANCE MANAGER Emily Townsend – WELL-KNOWN CLIMATE SCIENTIST – LOOKING FOR A JOB WITH ANY OF THE FAKENEWSMSM:

    10 Jan: SMH: ‘Dangerous, misinformation’: News Corp employee’s fire coverage email
    By Zoe Samios and Andrew Hornery
    Updated January 10, 2020 — 6.02pm
    In an email distributed to News Corp Australia staff and addressed to Mr Miller, ***COMMERCIAL FINANCE MANAGER Emily Townsend said she had been filled with anxiety and disappointment over the coverage, which had impacted her ability to work…
    Ms Townsend, who has worked for News Corp Australia for five years, thanked Mr Miller for the email about fundraising initiatives in relation to the fires, but said the efforts did not offset the company’s coverage of the bushfires.
    “I have been severely impacted by the coverage of News Corp publications in relation to the fires, in particular the misinformation campaign that has tried to divert attention away from the real issue which is climate change to rather focus on arson (including misrepresenting facts),” she said.

    “I find it unconscionable to continue working for this company, knowing I am contributing to the spread of climate change denial and lies. The reporting I have witnessed in The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun is not only irresponsible, but dangerous and damaging to our communities and beautiful planet that needs us more than ever to acknowledge the destruction we have caused and start doing something about it.”…

    Mr Miller stood by News Corp’s coverage of the bushfires and said that, while he respected Ms Townsend’s views, he did not agree with them.
    ***”Ms Townsend resigned in December and was due to leave News Corp shortly,” Mr Miller said…READ ALL
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/dangerous-misinformation-news-corp-employee-s-fire-coverage-email-20200110-p53qel.html

    10 Jan: Guardian: News Corp employee lashes climate ‘misinformation’ in bushfire coverage with blistering email
    Emily Townsend’s reply-all email to executive chairman calls the company’s coverage ‘irresponsible’ and ‘dangerous’
    by Christopher Knaus
    A senior News Corp employee has accused the company of “misinformation” and diverting attention from climate change during the bushfire crisis in an explosive all-staff email addressed to executive chairman Michael Miller…SIGN IN IF YOU WANT TO CONTINUE
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/jan/10/news-corp-employee-climate-misinformation-bushfire-coverage-email

    pieces above were hours behind Mumbrella, which had the story up 15 hours ago.

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  • #
    pat

    ***Phil Cheney, retired CSIRO bushfire scientist, on with Chris Smith, Sky, right now. re Victoria – in the last several years – has only carried out a third of the necessary hazard reduction recommended by the Royal Commission after Black Saturday.
    8% was recommended for hazard reduction, then reduced to 5% by the Commission, then changed by the Victorian Govt at a meeting to which Cheney was invited, but declined to attend, because it would be under Chatham Rules:

    6 Jan: Age: ‘It’s a deathtrap’: 11 years after Black Saturday, hills set to burn
    By Liam Mannix
    Former emergency management commissioner Craig Lapsley, who drove through the area a few weeks ago, says that after a hot December the area has dried out.
    “That’s where the bush meets the cities – and the people. When it burns… it will cause significant issues,” he said…

    A fire in east-central Victoria is one of the CFA’s nightmare scenarios. Almost 60 per cent of Victoria’s population live there and about half of them live in properties close to bushland. Many are “tree-changers” who are have not seen a bushfire before. It has some of the most flammable vegetation on Earth.
    “I drove from Koo Wee Rup up to Launching Place. You look at the houses that are embedded in the bush. In a drought situation, it’s a deathtrap for them, there is nothing else you can say,” says retired CSIRO bushfire scientist ***Phil Cheney…
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/it-s-a-deathtrap-11-years-after-black-saturday-hills-set-to-burn-20200106-p53p7v.html

    behind paywall:

    Bushfires: hazard reduction plan ignores Black Saturday …
    The Australian – 20 hours ago
    Former CSIRO bushfire expert Phil Cheney condemned DELWP’s 2015 move from hectare targets for fuel reduction to what the department

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  • #
    pat

    wasn’t listening, but this is the gist of what I just heard in passing:

    Chris Smith just played PM Morrison saying he might have to change his position on warming, because the public is spooked by the bushfires.

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    • #
      robert rosicka

      He will be unelectable if he keeps up the 50 – 50 dodge and duck , I keep saying put Craig Kelly and get all ministers and Lib back benchers getting their notes from Kelly .
      If Scomo goes any greener this country will be Amish territory .

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      • #
        el gordo

        I noticed the PM gave Kelly a serve for his overseas interview, but this is all smoke and mirrors. Getting rid of renewable subsidies and poking the IPCC in the eye with a burnt stick, shows the government’s real agenda.

        Of course the chattering class will now seek a Royal Commission into this unprecedented bushfire season, do we have a brief to counter their global warming hysteria? Morrison will abide by the outcome of a Royal Commission, so we need to put forward a submission that is irrefutable.

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      Deplorable Lord Kek

      Chris Smith just played PM Morrison saying he might have to change his position on warming, because the public is spooked by the bushfires.

      by how much will a windmill / carbon credit / solar panel decrease the intensity of a bushfire?

      that’s a reasonable question, as he will be spending taxpayer $$$ to do it.

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      PeterS

      If the government is going to be like the ALP+Greens and promote harsher emissions reduction targets to appease the alleged public outrage over the lack of action to fight climate change then why doesn’t he turn his focus on China, India and the US who are doing virtually nothing to reduce their emissions? Why is it we have to sacrifice our economy and allow theirs to continue growing?

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    pat

    robert rosicka -

    what I heard wasn’t 50-50, it was all in on CAGW.

    70

  • #
  • #
    Ronald Bruce

    Those who failed to learn from historys mistakes are bound to repeat those mistakes.

    20

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    John

    Sorry Jo but it’s a scientific fact that:

    Olden days people couldnt read thermometers (they added several degrees)
    Olden days people wore innappropriate long sleeved clothes and thus died at the drop of a hat.
    Olden days people exaggerated when compiling bushfire results
    Olden days building burned much much easier.

    So in summary these fires of the past were no big deal. Not like today’s fires.

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      Bill In Oz

      John, all that sounds like modern day BS
      To discredit our fore fathers…
      And no have to learn from our own history.

      11

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        John

        Our forefathers didn’t even have an intergovernmental panel on climate change. Such ignoramuses cant be trusted. No, the right answer is to correct their obviously erroneous observations.

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    robert rosicka

    I had no idea the government of the day refused the offer of Russian air tankers to help fight the 89 Victoriastan fires .

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/russian-offer-of-fire-jets-rejected-20091020-h6xt.html?fbclid=IwAR2k7ThB7o5rzH4VNJmZ_6Yomiy0ZTwIQodI-LnM-3iuCn2G_McM9RGcig8

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    Tom O

    Probably said many times already, but as I read through the first portion, I kept seeing the fires were set by the hand of man, or words to that affect. Yet the problem, as it was described was that “man” left the forest to manage itself, thus when the fires started – and I didn’t see mentioned in that report of arson – the “fuel load” allowed it to become intense and massive.

    Seems to me that the fires were NOT set by the hand of man. It would seem that the same climate would have developed the same effects with or without man, unless “the hand of man” diminished the fuel load. So what happened is what happens when “the hand of man” does nothing. Controlled burns, by aborigines or settlers is not “natural,” so the ’39 fires were only the product of nature uncontrolled, not the hand of man.

    Why is it we always blame “man” for things that would have been natural events should we not actively work to avoid them? Just as hurricanes and typhons can do incredible damage to settled areas, the damage may be incredible because we chose to build there, but the damage would still be done to the area whether man existed or not. Man doesn’t “create” Mother Nature’s power to destroy, she does it by herself, but we suffer from it and, for some damn stupid reason, blame ourselves for what she does.

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      hatband

      Tom O said:

      ..and I didn’t see mentioned in that report of arson ..

      Royal Commissioners tend to be pretty circumspect.

      The phrase ”Lit by the hand of man” doesn’t leave much to the imagination.

      Note carefully that if Commissioner Stretton was laying the blame far and wide

      on negligence, inaction, poor decision making, & etc., he may have written either

      lit by the hand of Man

      or omitted the phrase entirely.

      In my opinion, the Commissioner gives the reader a big clue there.

      Thanks to Jo Nova for finding and publishing this long forgotten gem.

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    Nick F

    Haven’t posted here before but I have a question – apologies if it’s been discussed already. How much drought is needed to create a severe fire risk? My thought here is that we’re being told that longer periods of drought due to AGW are going to make the fire seasons more intense due to hotter temps and longer seasons. However surely you can only dry out the undergrowth so much – an extra week of dry conditions isn’t going to make an already dry log any dryer. I see that the area of drought could increase but can you make a severe fire risk any severererer. Is my line of thought incorrect?

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      hatband

      It’s Arson.

      Data from U.S. Studies ofWildfires gives 43% Arson, <10% Lightning, others were accidents, 2%

      couldn't be determined.

      Bottom line:

      Up to 63% are Arson [deliberate], a few are negligence, a few may be lightning.

      The problem with the lightning scenario is randomness.

      Lightning can't consistenly strike in a pattern that magnifies the bushfire.

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      robert rosicka

      Australia is a land of droughts , rain and floods and the only new thing about this one is the premise that climate change caused it and made it worse .
      Going back through history we find nothing unusual about drought and big fires .
      One of the longest droughts known through ice core samples was over 20 years in length and if that happened today the alarmists would go into overdrive , nothing is “unprecedented ” when you look at history but everything is “unprecedented ” when you only look back 30 years or less .
      The fires in 1939 and back in the 1800′s are a great example of this .

      00

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