JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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57 Bushfire Inquiries isn’t enough. We need one more for leaders to hide behind

Big Government strangles our ecosystems just like it strangles scientific research.  Australia has had 57 bushfire inquiries since 1939. We knew what was coming and we knew how to stop it, and we’ve known for eighty years (and indigenous people for thousands). Instead we paid a garrison of gravy trainers to not-read-those-reports and to create the exact conditions we knew would turn into a pyroconvective catastrophe. State Premiers missed a major threat to their people, their industry, our environment. On top of the death and destruction toll, just one industry, tourism, is looking at a $4.5b loss. Heads must roll. If they were misled, then name the names.

Our institutions failed us: The CSIRO didn’t save us, the ABC didn’t. What’s the point of them? Academics and CRC’s could’ve warned the nation, but instead most experts and the “reporters” said renewable energy would prevent these fires, even though climate change has made no difference to rainfall or droughts, which are driven by ocean currents, and solar cycles, not carbon dioxide. Let’s promote those who got it right, and turn off the tap to those that didn’t. Who pays damages? Who gets sacked?

Just do it: less fuel, less rules, more [...]

Climate change is the excuse to hide an Inferno of Incompetence — heads must roll for the billion dollar bushfire mistakes

Whose fault was it and will they get away with it (like all the other times)?

Twenty seven people died, a billion animals, 2,000 homes, tourism wrecked and a plume of smoke stretched from here to South America. Unless heads roll, this cycle repeats every 10 – 20 years. Imagine if the media was demanding to know how State Premiers had allowed this catastrophe, or if the opposition was accusing the government of listening to the Ivory Tower instead of the firies? The problem is, they’re all complicit. Both sides of politics are guilty, and the media didn’t see this coming either.

We can recognise those avoiding responsibility by the way they fob off hard questions:

1. Let’s blame “climate change” (because these fires are “normal” now, get used to it. Plus luckily no one ever says — “you mean it’s China’s fault?”)

2. Let’s say “now’s not the time to play the blame game” and,

3. Coming soon:  “let’s wait for the Royal Commission, or Almighty Investigation, or 28th Fire Report” — or whichever comes last. (Who wants to preempt a report even if we already know what it will say. )

But [...]

Panic now: Drought breaking rains could raise emissions! (One drought was twice as good as all those renewables!)

This is an idea surrounded by layers of dumb. Like an onion, but not that smart.

Firstly, rejoice, nice big rain is falling, and Australians are Pretty Happy About That. But, oh no. Who knew, all along — the drought we thought was so bad was actually helping cool Australia. Golly, droughts cripple our agriculture industry and therefore reduce our agricultural emissions. It follows then (if you are crazy) that when the rain comes back that will raise our emissions.

Today is the first day I’ve seen the term “Drought-breaking” entertained…

But wait, there’s more. This rain is falling on Conservatives:

The Morrison government’s goal of lowering greenhouse gas emissions could be sunk in the short term if there is a break in the intense drought.’

Mike Foley, Sydney Morning Herald

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are likely to rise if there is a break in the intense drought in eastern Australia, sinking the Morrison government’s goal of lowering emissions in the short term.

Yes, and in a world not obsessed with political power games, when rain falls, green stuff grows, sucking down the CO2. Nevermind.

The agriculture sector did most of the heavy lifting [...]

Hallelujah — rain coming

Good rain forecast for East Coast fire-grounds 15 – 50mm.

Probably thanks to the MJO which Joe Bastardi told us was strongly building nine days ago. The northern monsoons have finally started, and the peak MJO position for rainfall has arrived. It won’t end the drought yet, but it might put out some fires.

Rain forecast BOM Australia.

 

As Joe Bastardi explained, there is an extreme Madden-Julian Oscillation going on north of Australia.  We’ve launched into “Phase 5″ with a rocket, and “wow” — things are far out on the phase diagram. Looking at past MJO patterns the wiggles can loop, dive to the centre, swing wildly out, though I didn’t see any with such an extreme phase 5. They can resemble the flight path of a bee. Predicting what any MJO does next looks difficult, and next week it may have retracted to low normal “six”. Who can say?

Madden-Julian Oscillation map | Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology

The BoM does an average forecast of what different phases of the MJO mean for Australian rainfall. I’m not sure how much it would change in an extreme MJO.

[...]

The Hotter-Drier “Climate change” myth — the rain in Australia has always been erratic, no CO2 trend

When will our BoM and Climate Experts correct the Fake Science and misinformation?

Climate change leads to a hotter-wetter world. This is a central canon of the theory of man-made global warming. Despite that, none of our paid experts are correcting the myths and misinformation of our public debate. Every man and his monkey (including M.P’s) are saying that Climate Change causes a hotter drier world which leads to fires, and the BOM, CSIRO and millions of scientists apparently agree. So if Australians are misinformed, who’s fault is it? — Not looking at you Andy Pitman, David Karoly, Tim Flannery, ABC Science Unit, Gergis, Sherwood, Trewin, Steffan and all the rest.

Blame the ocean currents for our bush fires

The biggest cause of bush-fires in Australia is the drought. A lack of rain allows the nation to get scorching hot days and dries out the fuel. Yet our long term records show that obscene megatons of CO2 from China has no detectable effect on our long term rainfall. Not in the fire zones, and not across the whole country either.  The main driver of droughts and fires therefore is the El Nino oscillation, the IOD, and the SOI. Tax [...]

Fires are not where the heat is, they’re where the fuel is

A thread for those who are watching the fire crisis.

NSW Fires today Map Click to enlarge

Victorian fires, click to enlarge.

Fires flared again today in Australia, though have calmed in the last few hours. Outback NSW was wildly hot (Bourke and Ivanhoe reached 47C and 48C), but the fires are mostly in Alpine and SE coastal areas of Australia where temperatures ranged on Friday only up to maximums of 21C -  35C.

Fire conditions are bad tonight in NSW and Victoria. Cooler, but windier. Some gusts are up to 100km/hr. Rain has begun to fall in East Gippsland. Map details and links to updates are listed below. It’s obvious in the maps that massive areas of forest have already burned. The black areas on these maps are burnt, but not all to the same degree. The red areas on the NSW map look terrible but these are “potential spread areas”.

It’s not about the heat.

The fires are where the fuel loads are (and the arsonists and accidents).

[...]

What the BOM don’t say: it’s not the hottest year in Australia according to satellites

For forty years NASA satellites have been circling the Earth covering our landmass day and night.  But yet again, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has released the obligatory “hottest ever year” media release without mentioning that it wasn’t the hottest year in the far more accurate satellite record of Australia, and that this new “record” depends entirely on adjustments and quite possibly on ignoring all the data recorded in the 1800s. Once again they miss the chance to remind Australians that it was almost certainly hotter for hundreds of years seven thousand years ago. Sea levels were higher then too.

They claim it’s the driest ever year, and maybe it was, but they don’t say that there is no trend in droughts and rainfall for the last 178 years.

So to help them out I’ve graphed UAH satellite temperature record which shows that last year was the 4th hottest year since 1979 when the UAH satellite data set begins.

Perhaps in 2020 the Australian Bureau of Meteorology will set their own record, and explain for the first time how and why they adjust their data continuously and post hoc. The Australian surface data is all changed with a mystical secret [...]

“Bombshell” Nostra-Ross-Garnaut got one thing accidentally right

The Daily Mail breathlessly recycles Ross Garnaut’s 2008 Climate Change report which predicted every kind of disaster. They don’t mention that nearly every fire report since time began predicted extreme widespread uncontrollable fires from unmanaged fuel loads. But those experts have cause and effect. Garnaut has magic spells from climate models.

He apparently mentioned the first effects wouldn’t be seen til 2020, and here we are, “week one”. Spooky!

This is more and more like analyzing Climate Astrology.

How a bombshell report PREDICTED Australia’s bushfire crisis with eerie precision 12 years ago

The article is being derisively mocked in most comments there.

I predict that the Daily Mail Australia will soon ban comments like the ABC, and The Guardian.

[...]

Fire policy shift: Government says “hazard reduction” to stop fires. Labor says “Carbon market”

A nation watches the fires. The Australian Navy has rescued around 1,100 people and 250 pets. Thousands of other have fled. Thousands more on the SE corner of Australia have been chopping down trees, cleaning properties, waiting in queues for fuel and food. Today is forecast to be as bad as New Years Eve when 380 houses burnt down. Temperatures will be above 40 C — up to 45C inland in places like Wagga Wagga.  (Right now, perhaps there’s a BOM site glitch but temperatures from Nowra south range from 30 -45?) Humidity levels will be very low. But a cooler change is coming late. Things should be much better on Sunday. Best wishes for everyone on the front line.

Suddenly, many people are taking “hazard reduction”. If only it weren’t too late.

Meanwhile the Labor Party still hope to reduce bushfires with an international carbon market. Good luck with that. A carbon market is form of carbon tax that sends money overseas and will make their friends at the UN and Goldman Sachs happy, but probably won’t impress the workers the Labor party used to serve. The only way it will stop fires is if people clearfell old growth [...]

Cricketers to freeze: Boxing Day Tests in Melbourne cooling since WWII

Peacetime maximums on Boxing Day are just not what they used to be

The ABC is afraid that Boxing day cricket may “go extinct” due to the heat.  Chris Gillham at WAClimate.net graphed the December 26 test temperatures in Melbourne all the way back to 1855.  Obviously, using ABC-ScienceTM (absurdio-extrapolatory et al) what we are really looking at is ominous cooling. To help the ABC, let’s adjust headlines accordingly.

“Injuries are forecast to rise as maximum temperatures fall in Melbourne on Boxing Day.”

The trend is clear in a supercomputer somewhere. If this decline continues the second polynomial will hit zero in 440 years. Cricketers won’t know what heat is.

The graphs here confirm the newspaper stories of a history of phenomenal Boxing day heat – especially in the late 1800s and circa World War II. Ergo, wars cause global warming (in Melbourne, on Dec 26).

…This is bound to change…

Two things to keep in mind, apart from designing a team beanie, is that many of the temperatures in the 1800s weren’t from Stevenson screens and so are debatable. On the other hand, the urban heat island effect is strong and site maintenance is weak, so [...]

Aboriginals didn’t need a water bomber God to save them from Government nurtured firestorms

There is no lake, no dam large enough to put out the firestorms we have created

Like some kind of cargo cult, modern inhabitants pray to the sky for enough water bombers to keep things they love safe. They fret that the season for safe burning is too short, while they leave the litter to burn at the most dangerous time possible. The quest for perfect forests, perfect air, and perfect centralized planning is the perfect recipe for a catastrophe. Utopia burns again.

This is a great article by Viv Forbes describing how radically different fire “management” was in ancient times. Management being almost like non stop arson. The main rule, apparently, was to light often and always, and never extinguish.  — Jo

_______________________________________ Fighting Fires with Fire

by Viv Forbes

Firestick farming Joseph Lycett. Circa 1817.  Australian National Library.

The Power of the Torch “There can be few if any races who for so long were able to practice the delights of incendiarism.”                 Geoffrey Blainey “Triumph of the Nomads – A History of Ancient Australia.” Macmillan 1975.

The Fire-lighter was the most powerful tool that early humans brought to Australia.

Fires lit by aborigi

nal [...]

Climate Change to make Boxing Day cricket extinct. ABC and Monash make history extinct.

It’s a taxpayer funded bonfire: The billion dollar ABC does cut-n-paste “journalism” from the largely taxpayer funded Monash Uni, which wrote a one-sided, badly researched piece as advertising for The Australian Conservation Foundation. Not only have Australians played cricket in 42 degree heat a thousand times before, but on days when the sun was obscured by smoke from bushfires. It’s all easy to find history from 150 years ago recorded on official sites and searchable for anyone with “the internet”.

No hard questions asked — the only question that matters is “how does this help Big Government?” Extreme heat due to climate change could send cricket’s Boxing Day Test into extinction, researchers say

By Richard Willingham and Joseph Dunstan, ABC, News

The Boxing Day Test may need to be moved to November or March in the future to avoid extreme heat, which is a danger to players and cricket fans, a new report has suggested.

Cricket Australia must also work to help grassroots clubs deal with extreme heat, the report from Monash University’s Climate Change Communication Research Hub has found.

The study, commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), urges Cricket Australia to use its [...]

Climate change and bushfires — More rain, the same droughts, no trend, no science

Here’s the anti-witchdoctor kit for bushfires and “climate change”

Hi to all the new readers. Keep these graphs handy…

To Recap: In order to make really Bad Fires we need the big three: Fuel, oxygen, spark. Obviously getting rid of air and lightning is beyond the budget. The only one we can control is fuel. No fuel = no fire.   Big fuel = Fireball apocalypse that we can;t stop even with help from Canada, California, and New Zealand.

The most important weather factor is rain, not an extra 1 degree of warmth. To turn the nation into a proper fireball, we “need” a good drought.  A lack of rain is a triple whammy — it dries out the ground and the fuel — and it makes the weather hotter too. Dry years are hot years in Australia, wet years are cool years. It’s just evaporative cooling for the whole country. The sun has to dry out the soil before it can heat up the air above it.  Simple yes?  El Nino’s mean less rain (in Australia), that’s why they also mean “hot weather”.

So ask a climate scientist the right questions and you’ll find out what [...]

2019 Wildfires burn 20 times as much land as managed fuel reduction in NSW (so far)

The conversation Australia needs: should we prevent fires with prescribed burns or solar panels?

The wildfires in NSW  so far have burned 2,700,000 ha or, if it were one square area –a box 164km x 164km and destroyed at least 720 houses (that was Dec 11).

The dilemma: will it be managed fires, or unmanaged wildfires to reduce the fuel? Or if you are Tim Flannery who says it’s “immoral not to connect the dots“, the question is “how many solar panels will it take to stop those houses burning down?” Or perhaps “how do we stop lightning”?

This is the rough size of the controlled hazard reduction target area, as carried out for NSW compared to the area of “hazard-reduction” by Mother Nature. The area of official hazard reduction by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is 135,000 ha, equivalent to a square of dimensions 36km x 36km. There would be some other private fuel reduction. Can anyone find figures for that?

Australian Wildfires Area, 2019, NSW, December. Map.

 

To protect houses we need a 100m margin (at least) and to burn 20% of the landscape each year.

New South Wales NPWS fire ecologist, [...]

ABC, Climate experts do damage control on 1896 heatwave story, can’t say why, but they “know” it was cooler. Faith!

Winning! The 1896 heatwave story is going viral and the  ABC is reduced to weak, late excuses

Australians are realizing that our hot history has been hidden from us. We’ve set a new site traffic record with around 100,000 people checking in since Wednesday, plus thousands more reading the story elsewhere like Catallaxy and Facebook. Thank you for sharing! We first posted the 1896 heatwave here first in 2013, then again on Wednesday. The ABC has gone into damage control responding with a direct attempt to rebut the story, but they are too scared to name this site. What are they afraid of?

We, of course, have no such fear. Six years after skeptics let Australia know about the 1896 heatwave, the ABC and “experts” finally catch up but only under duress. So now they mention it, but use vague caveats, distractors, discuss different time spans, ignore 49 other hot sites, appeal to authority, and don’t mention their own recent artificial site changes that skeptics have documented in more detail than the BOM have. The “experts” allude to “thermometers on beer crates” but in Bourke the heat was recorded at the post office on Oxley st. Skeptics are well aware [...]