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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Busted: Reef fish aren’t bothered by “acidification” and James Cook Uni isn’t bothered by potential fraud.

“Clark et al. (2020) found 100% replication failure. None of the findings of the original eight studies were found to be correct.”

Scientists tried to repeat eight experiments that showed “acidification” would make reef fish get hyper, act like their predators smell nice, and generally swim in the wrong circles, behave weirdly and need therapy sessions. Turns out the fish will be OK, but James Cook Uni’s reputation may never recover. The original junk experiments and press releases came out of the coral reef centre at JCU.

This is the “replication crisis” Peter Ridd warned us about. He was fired from  JCU in 2018 after stating that work from JCU’s coral reef centre (ARCCoE)  was not trustworthy. He also helped expose manipulated photos of reef fish. Obviously this latest reef research shows he  was right to be concerned about quality assurance at JCU. One JCU researcher, Oona Lönnstedt, had already been caught fabricating data in Sweden, and yet JCU “investigated” and sacked Ridd faster than it investigated her suspicious lionfish shots. Indeed, two years on, JCU has not even officially appointed the committee to investigate her potentially fraudulent work. It seems JCU would rather employ untrustworthy scientists than honest ones.

Ridd won on every count in court against JCU last year, but they still want to waste millions in the high court defending their right to exile and punish a whistleblower for being non-collegial and writing a slightly satirical subject line: “for your amusement”.  This unpermitted behaviour is seemingly so much more important to JCU managers than employing people who do honest, useful scientific work. And who cares about the stupid fish and the fate of the dumb reef anyhow? They are just a fund-raising tool for a grants machine.   I guess JCU can’t maintain the abject fear among their staff, and get obedience to their own agenda if the dang staff say what they really think.

Think about how pointless the JCU appeal is — even if they were to win, they lose — they prove that they are not the kind of institute taxpayers should be funding.

JCU management have learnt nothing. Since losing the case JCU has changed its employment contracts, not to give their academics the unequivocal right to speak freely, but to make sure they can’t. Enough is enough — all universities need to guarantee free speech in employment contracts or no more government funds.

Every JCU employee’s work is tainted by this. Even the honest ones. We will never know what any JCU researchers really believe, or which results were filed in the bin, no matter what they say, because we know employees of JCU have to hide unfashionable opinions. Their quality assurance is terminally flawed. This makes the entire institution useless as a research body, and with standards so low, also useless for teaching. The government could fix this entire embarrassing debacle in five minutes. They just need to withhold JCU funding til the uni gets new management, investigates potential fraud, stops wasting funds in legal battles, and demonstrate that they support free speech — rehire Ridd, sack the VC Sandra Harding AO who earnt $975,000 in 2018, and enshrine free speech in employment contracts. It could all be fixed in time before the academic year starts.

Environmentalists should be defending Ridd. Junk science hurts the reef. The nation could waste money giving the fish counseling instead of solving actual issues that may threaten the reef.

And the problem is bigger than just JCU. As Ridd points out “Such replication studies have been opposed by all the major GBR (Great Barrier Reef) science institutions.” None of these institutions want the science checked. 

It’s also proof that sacred “peer review” is as meaningless as a pal review by two anonymous people obviously would be.

JCU is the text-book example of what happens when government funding strangles science. The people in charge of JCU’s “science” department — deciding what “the consensus will be” are the administrators, not the academics.

This is not a one off. JCU has a pattern of evicting, blackbanning, and ousting people who disagree with the bureaucrats pet fashions (vale, Bob Carter!). In this culture, more funding means more strangling. So just stop.



Peter Ridd: Scientific Misconduct At James Cook University Confirms My Worst Fears

Global Warming Policy Foundation

Seven scientists expose massive scientific incompetence –  or worse – at James Cook University

All the erroneous studies were done by scientists from James Cook Universities highly prestigious Coral Reef Centre. They were published in high profile journals, and attracted considerable media attention.

Keep reading  →

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

A thread for those who are watching the fire crisis.

Fires NSW

NSW Fires today Map Click to enlarge

Fires Map Victoria

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).

Keep reading  →

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The cloudless NW Indian ocean may drive Australian storms and US cold weather in the next month

There is a strong phenomenon called the Madden-Julian Oscilation (MJO) happening over the Indian ocean North west of Australia.The MJO is a massive convective pattern that churns it’s way from west to east across the Indian and into the Pacific. For 30 – 60 days it’s a dynamo, changing global weather. It has a profound influence on both sides of the world — driving cold winter spells as far away as Canada and the US.

“It’s as extreme as I’ve ever seen it”  — Joe Bastardi, Weatherbell, Jan 6th

“I’m looking at one of the worst 30 days periods in central Canada and western United states.”

“I’m watching what I was taught happen in front of me.”

” Jan 20 – Feb 10th may be very cold in the US.

Joe Bastardi is a long range weather forecaster at Weatherbell and he does a weekly video each Saturday. Last weekend he discussed the MJO and the hot tropical convective pattern occurring in the NE Indian ocean off Australia where, unusually, there are no clouds.  The gap in the clouds allows sunlight in to heat the ocean in the tropics, but also allows the warmer ocean to radiate energy out to space. The outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) is pouring out across the equator in the central and western Indian ocean.This makes cyclones and rain more likely off NW Western Australia.

Bastardi loves the climate and his enthusiasm is infectious. Bear in mind it’s six days old now, things will have shifted. It must be tough making a living out of trying to predict the weather weeks in advance…


There is more energy involved because the oceans are warmer,  yet there is severe cold in parts.

 The heat is pouring off the planet at 35W/m2 at 90E in the tropics. (That brown blob in the Indian Ocean). But it’s being followed by storms, clouds, cold and rain.

MJO on sea surface temperatures.

Three months of very few clouds over the NW Indian Ocean.

We all wonder, of course, what drives a 3 month period of very few clouds in the tropics … could it be a solar phenomenon — a shift in the solar wind for example.

Joe Bastardi on the effects over the USA

If the MJO gets into 8 (in the chart below) 1 or 2 don’t be surprised if it hits -10 in Chicago.

Most of the West and Central US will be cold, but the pool of cold dense air will lead to storms from the gulf across SE USA.

The man-man global warming theory predicts more water vapor, so there should be more clouds, not less in the tropics.


Madden-Julian Osscilation, Convection, diagram.

Madden-Julian Oscillation is a pattern that travels east bringing storms and rain and influencing weather right around the globe.


The cloudless warm water cell in the MJO pushes through this pattern from 1 to 8. Right now it’s at 4 (or it was a week ago). Let’s hope it brings some rain to Australia.

MJO pattern


MJO means Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) (Wikipedia)

It is a large-scale coupling between atmospheric circulation and tropical deep atmospheric convection.[1][2] Unlike a standing pattern like the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Madden–Julian oscillation is a traveling pattern that propagates eastward, at approximately 4 to 8 m/s (14 to 29 km/h, 9 to 18 mph), through the atmosphere above the warm parts of the Indian and Pacific oceans. This overall circulation pattern manifests itself most clearly as anomalous rainfall.  — Wikipedia

At some point Bastardi comments to the effect of saying something like…. I’m not seeing evidence that man-made CO2 is driving this, but I am seeing solar influence.

Any mistakes in the transcript or “translation” above are all mine. Apologies!

h/t Charles M

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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


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

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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 technique that cools historic thermometers in paddocks, warms them in cities, and can’t be explained to anyone outside the sacred BOM guild (see the marvel of homogenization). They also might explain why they insist on ignoring the superior satellite data and try to measure a vast continent with flawed surface stations placed next to airport tarmacs, car parks, asphalt, incinerators, skyscrapers, super highways, and basically in sites and that are often not compliant with the BOM’s own standards and using super fast electronic sensors in a way that is not WMO compliant either. Let’s not forget they also get data from boxes that are a quarter of the original size, that move all the time, and that many modern records are just meaningless electronic one second “moments” that could never have been recorded in 1910 (or even in 1980). With so many scientific bombs, the marvel is that 2019 wasn’t even “warmer”.

Australian Annual Temperature (UAH)

The hottest year in Australia was 2017, then 1998, then 2016 and then 2019

According to the BOM the year 1998 was +0.96 °C above the 1961-1990 average and last year was nearly 0.6 degrees warmer that that. But according to the NASA Satellites, this year was a tenth of a degree cooler than 1998. The gap between satellite measured 1998 and BOM measured 1998, as compared to their 2019 measurements, is now almost as large the entire warming trend for the last century.


 UAH Satellite data

YEAR Australia
ave temp Degrees C
1 2017 0.71
2 1998 0.70
3 2016 0.59
4 2019 0.58
5 2018 0.51

No doubt the honest scientists at the BOM will issue a correction to all their incomplete press releases any day now, unless of course, they are trying to scare more money out of Australian taxpayers, in which case they probably don’t want Australians to know how different the satellite measures are.

DATA: Update Jan 9th 2019  from

UPDATE: Vishnu reminds us that Roy Spencer says a 0.6C difference between UAH and the BOM surface temperatures can occur in especially dry years during summer (though he found the opposite effect happens in winter, and we are discussing whole annual averages here). But both 1998 and 2019 were both very dry years, so we’d expect both years to diverge in the same direction which they do not.

Thanks especially to Geoff, with help from Ken, Ian, Ed, Chris, Warwick, Lance and Tony.

To find out the real history of the Australian climate start here:

Keep reading  →

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The information war about astonishing arson figures

Rapidly the word about the astonishing rate of arson and man-made accidents* is spreading, but it doesn’t help “the cause” (which for left-leaning journo’s appears to be getting left-leaning politicians elected).

For example, the awful Binna Burra fire in September was blamed on climate change. Instead it turned out to be caused by two teenagers with cigarette butts. Who looks silly pushing a carbon tax agenda to stop fires?

So The Guardian and the ABC are now compiling stories with conspiracy theories about how a thousand or so tweets with a pedantic error mistaking legal action for arrests somehow demonstrates a mysterious disinformation campaign (it’s pro-ject-ion.)  The main mystery here is how a prof in Qld can mind read through twitter — Dr Graham tells us “The motivation underlying this often tends to not be changing people’s opinions about the bushfire itself and how it’s happening, but to sow discord and magnify already existing tensions in polarised political issues.”

Maybe people are just angry at the wanton, pointless and avoidable destruction, yeah?

The Love Media are downplaying the arrests in a situation where catching, charging and convicting people must be near impossible, so 24 arrests already for arson this season is remarkable. What’s more important to the nation, preventing arson, saving wilderness, or proof-reading-type errors on social media?

Firstly: Most of these fires are man-made but it’s arson and accidental* not climate change:

In NSW alone 24 people have been charged, with legal action happening against 180 in total ( that’s just in NSW)

NSW Police take legal action against more than 180 people

6 Jan 2020. NSW Police: Since Friday 8 November 2019, legal action – which ranges from cautions through to criminal charges – has been taken against 183 people – including 40 juveniles – for 205 bushfire-related offences.

  • 24 people have been charged over alleged deliberately-lit bushfires
  • 53 people have had legal actions for allegedly failing to comply with a total fire ban, and
  • 47 people have had legal actions for allegedly discarding a lighted cigarette or match on land.

A US study estimates that 85% of fires are man-made (both accidental and deliberate):

Janet Stanley, Associate Professor at Melbourne University’s Sustainable Society Institute, The Conversation.

Experts estimate about 85% of bushfires are caused by humans. A person may accidentally or carelessly start a fire, such as leaving a campfire unattended or using machinery which creates sparks. Or a person could maliciously light a fire.

But official fires are just the tip of the iceberg: the actual number of bushfires in Australia is thought to be about five times that recorded. Virtually none of these unrecorded fires are investigated.

A Western Australian study from 2012 estimates 43% of fires in WA are deliberate arson, 22% of fires are due to lightning, 13% are accidental, 2% are escaped from hazard reduction, and 20% are unknown.

Secondly: the misinformation misinformation campaign

The ABC and The Guardian readers are being taken for a ride:

Fires misinformation being spread through social media

By Kevin Nguyen and Ariel Bogle, ABC news

Australia’s bushfire emergency is being exploited on social media, as misinformation is spread through cyberspace via hundreds of thousands of posts.

  • Bushfire discussion on social media is attracting a high number of “bot-like and troll-like accounts”
  • Some of the misinformation includes the idea left-wing “ecoterrorists” are behind some fires
  • The lies are highly sharable, which means they can spread faster than the truth

They don’t mention that four people from a Brazilian green NGO have been arrested in relation to starting fires in the Amazon. We don’t know if they were guilty, or what the evidence is. They deny it, and we hope they get a fair trial. Regardless, the ABC etc are already trying to brand “the idea” of eco-terrorism as misinformation and a conspiracy. Who’s in denial that there might be a motivation in the means-to-an-ends crowd who are hyped up by propaganda about the end-days of climate change ?

The ABC found some of the suspicious accounts were amplifying unproven suggestions arson had been the overwhelming cause of Australia’s disastrous bushfire season.

Suspicious accounts like those of professors?

The Guardian is almost a mini-ABC:

Bots and trolls spread false arson claims in Australian fires ‘disinformation campaign’

Christopher Knaus, The Guardian, @knausc

Online posts exaggerating the role of arson are being used to undermine the link between bushfires and climate change

Bot and troll accounts are involved in a “disinformation campaign” exaggerating the role of arson in Australia’s bushfire disaster, social media analysis suggests. The bushfires burning across the nation have been accompanied by repeated suggestions of an arson epidemic or “arson emergency”.

With a million tweets on climate change and fires, why is this tiny hashtag so important? Maybe some of these are fakes, but how many fakes are shouting about a #ClimateEmergency? Who knows, and don’t ask. Nothing to see here comrade.

The Queensland University of Technology senior lecturer on social network analysis Dr Timothy Graham examined content published on the #arsonemergency hashtag on Twitter, assessing 1,340 tweets, 1,203 of which were unique, published by 315 accounts.

His preliminary analysis found there is likely a “current disinformation campaign” on Twitter’s #arsonemergency hashtag due to the “suspiciously high number of bot-like and troll-like accounts”.

He similarly found a large number of suspicious accounts posting on the #australiafire and #bushfireaustralia hashtags.

Lord help us. Now he realizes there is hyped up polarisation?

“Australia suddenly appears to be getting swamped by mis/disinformation as a result of this environmental catastrophe, and we are suffering the consequences in terms of hyped up polarisation and an increased difficulty and inability for citizens to discern truth,” Graham told the Guardian.

The Prof finds there’s “likely” a disinformation campaign in a thousand tweets and that means the nation is “swamped”? Tell me again who’s hyping and polarizing the news?  The Guardian practically IS a misinformation campaign.

A search on “The Guardian arson”  and “ arson”, or “ arson arrests” turns up almost no other headlines about the large number of  Australian arsonists?

Information is our friend. The poor sods reading The Guardian and The ABC will go out loaded with nothing-burger conspiracies and indignant outrage and get squashed in any real forum.

 UPDATE: The Daily Mail says arrests in other states are large too :

Color me skeptical, because their headline looks a bit sloppy. I would like links to police news releases or more reliable numbers.

In Queensland, police have arrested 101 people accused of starting bushfires, 69 juveniles and 32 adults.

Five people were arrested for allegedly setting bushland alight in Tasmania – and a further 10 in South Australia.

Meanwhile in Victoria, where locals have experienced some of the most catastrophic conditions the nation has ever seen, 43 people were charged with firebug offences.

H/t to Travis. Thank you. And Dave B and Panda.

* Arson is not the same as an accident — a word that has just been added in two spots to make the point clear. There must be malicious intent. h/t DryLiberal.

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“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.

Keep reading  →

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A woodchip mill is better for the environment than greens are

Instead of vaporising a million trees we could have made money, saved lives, homes, property and millions of animals.

Local environmental groups rejoiced that the Eden Woodchip Mill burnt down, then deleted the comment. But ponder, after a man-made inferno, how much better off would the nation have been if we’d chopped down that forest and sold it instead.

“YESSS!!! Some really good news! The Eden Chip Mill is burning down. ” -- Environment East Gippsland EEG

Eden Woodchip Mill

Joy of joys. Even the woodchip pile is on fire?    Credit to Jill Redwood from Goongerah who made the first post about the Eden Chip mill burning

Ask a koala: Is it better to chop half the trees down, or incinerate the whole forest?

A lack of hazard reduction hurts in so many ways.




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The ScoMo-Bad filter: It doesn’t matter what he does, if it’s Scott Morrison, its bad

The bully media are carefully editing every bit of news through the ScoMo-Bad filter

Nothing he does is going to be well received by the ABC and cohort of Big-Government-freeloaders or artsy journo’s who want to run the country from the shouty sidelines.

We hope he can rise above, because there is no pleasing them, and to try is to fail. It is to play right into their hands.

LThe media is the problem. Magnifing Glass.ike Trump, he has to make an asset out of the overt and ridiculous bias. Mock it, and make fun of it. Preempt their criticisms, beat them at their game by informing the people of how each decision will be received and by using every method of communication outside the mainstream media that he can. Trump does live venues and uses twitter. ScoMo has to find his own path.

When criticized for advertising during the crisis, just point out that Australians are scared right now, justifiably. A message of massive and unprecedented action by the government helps to calm and reassure the people. Many in the media amplify the fear. His advertising is the calm hand of government countering the 24/7 reality-TV-show-frenzy.

Scott Morrison letting the feral media get to him, like it did to Tony Abbott

by Martyn Iles on Michael Smith news

Scott Morrison is finding himself in the same position as Tony Abbott.

Big sections of the media want him gone, and it’s ugly.

Nothing he does will be good enough. Every step, every word, every act, will be ridiculed, contemptible, broadcast in the most critical light, and the anti-ScoMo narrative will build steam, relentlessly.

He visits fire-ravaged communities, he’s a shameless self-promoter. He stays away, he’s a useless leader.

He gets accused of doing nothing, so he puts out a social media video explaining what the government is doing, and he’s derided globally as tone-deaf and inensitive for “advertising.”

He goes on a holiday with his family which he cuts short, so he’s done the worst thing imaginable. Meanwhile, the QLD Premier is on a cruise and the NSW Emergency Services Minister is in Europe — not a peep about them.

If Australia were wiped off the face of the earth for 100 years, not a jot of difference would be made to the climate, but he has blood on his hands because his climate change policies of the past 12 months aren’t radical enough. …

Tony Abbott had the same problem, until they finally finished him. He wound up stumbling over every single word that came out of his mouth, such were his efforts to guard against their misrepresentation and abuse.

I’ve noticed ScoMo is struggling with his words at times, and that’s new. He’s filtering, second-guessing, adapting. …

Sadly in this kind of conversation apologies are worthless. The rules of civility are gone — a huge loss. There is no salvation, no moving forward or learning. All apologies are a weapon to be used against those who caved in to the bullies. They feed the bullies, and get repeated as a reminder that someone admitted some fault. No human is perfect but self-interested commentators will demand their enemies are, while ignoring the same flaws in “friends”. More than anything, the dependent-left are hoping, willing, salivating at the thought of a ScoMo fail. They want to magnify any flaw or failure into on unforgivable error that can be hung like a ball and chain. Right now they desperately need this to distract the public from the epic pathetic failure of the left with their God-like desire to control and protect the environment which has worked out so catastrophically.

They also need to distract from the pagan nonsense that is The Labor Party and Green policy. Australia needs two strong parties and at the moment one is pretending that fires will be controlled with a carbon tax, tofu for dinner and a solar panel on every roof. It’s witchcraft and voodoo based on Fake Science, and innumerate bumper-sticker simplicity. The Global Dumbness hides in a hole guarded by the billion dollar bullies who shout distract and hand-wave at irrelevant misdemeanors hoping to draw attention away from the gaping well of stupid that modern politics is based on.

We must turn their uncivil conversation tactics back on them. Not feed them. Never give them an inch.

No man alone can beat the billion dollar bullies

ScoMo needs support, like Tony Abbott did and didn’t get enough of. And to that end, any commentators who read this, or others and want to share and spread ideas, please do, but please also, share the sources, give the credit. Respect copyright and original content, and play your part in supporting the network that fights for freedom and one-law-for-all, and real science. We can only do this together. Some cut n paste blogs and commentators put themselves above the team. We need the network.

Martin Ayles heads the Australian Christian LobbyMichael Smith runs a great blog. This tip and much else, thanks to David Evans.


UPDATE: The good men get eaten by the machine

Abbott, for his human failings, is a good man. There are plenty of bad men in politics. Let’s take the good ones and help them be great.


How many ABC reporters wear this gear, and never ever use it?

Fake News. Fake journalists. Fake debate.

UPDATE #2: — some holidays are more equal than others

Peta Credlin, Adelaide Advertiser:

Scott Morrison is on a hiding to nothing when it comes to bushfires. Because he’s not theological about climate change, he can never please the green left.

It doesn’t matter that there have been bigger storms, worse droughts, more destructive floods, and even hotter fires in the past because memories are short and we’re always preoccupied with today’s drama. Because he fully subscribes to the climate cult and because he smartly sought help from the military almost as soon as the fires made it to Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews has largely escaped criticism – even though he too was on holiday until Monday night and just three years ago, he tried to emasculate the Country Fire Authority and its volunteer firefighter base to please his union mates.

[The NSW] emergency services minister, David Elliott, the one politician who actually has the job of getting us through this calamity, has been on holidays in Europe. Now that he has returned, he should be sacked for deserting his post; he has lost all credibility with fire volunteers, and the community.

Adapted from a Glasses Photo by Mohamed MAZOUZ on Unsplash

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How many mushroom risotto’s does it take to stop a bushfire? Golden Globes goes Vegan “for the planet”

In the light of actual news happening around the world, it is a challenge for a committee of entertainment journalists to give some people who pretend to do things, a prize and make that “news”. It’s even harder for them to waltz down red carpets with wildly expensive fashion-set-pieces and pretend to care about anything other than their image. So veganism for weather control makes “sense”, if not for stopping storms, as a form of advertising.

Et Voila: It’s a big commitment after all –  forgoing smoked salmon for one meal:

The Golden Globes announced Thursday that the menu for attendees at this year’s awards show will not include meat.

In a statement to The Associated Press, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which hosts the Globes, said that the decision was made to draw attention to the connection between Americans’ diets and climate change.

“If there’s a way we can, not change the world, but save the planet, maybe we can get the Golden Globes to send a signal and draw attention to the issue about climate change,” HFPA President Lorenzo Soria told the AP. “The food we eat, the way we grow the food we eat, the way we dispose of the food is one of the large contributors to the climate crisis.”

Living on the edge:

“It was a little shocking when first mentioned, because of being very close to the actual Globes and having already decided on a menu,” he said

Coming soon, a movie script about how pagan neolithic tribes believed their dinner could stop floods and fires.

h/t Willie

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Coal stations more reliable in a crisis. Renewable power, interconnectors are fragile and risky!

Who wants to rely on renewables in a crisis?

Just when power is so important the interconnector went down yesterday between NSW and Victoria effectively cutting the East Coast “National” grid in half. It’s not clear if the transmission lines are damaged which will take weeks to repair or just tripped out. But there were blackouts yesterday in NSW, and coal fired power stations in Victoria that could be supplying customers were disconnected from most of NSW. Large industry was again forced to shut down temporarily. Call it “demand reduction” or call it incompetence. We’re a nation that can’t supply heavy industry with electricity. The people of Sydney have been told to turn off washing machines and dryers, spare appliances. Sure, it’s a national crisis, but what got us through the crisis was coal, and what would have stopped a price spike, and kept the industry online, was more coal.

Coal power, hydro, wind, solar Graph. During Black Saturday fires.

During Black Saturday fires.                   |  Source:

Meanwhile electricity prices hit $14,700 for two hours in NSW, with a draw of 12,000MW. I estimate that’s theoretically up to $350 million in electricity costs that could have been used to help repair the damage instead. Some of that won’t be realized because of forward hedged prices and long term contracts, but ultimately some of the spike will be paid by consumers in NSW to shareholders of generators. Perhaps  Alinta, AGL and Energy Australia will donate two hours of electricity profits to the bushfire crisis?

By definition a decentralized power grid that depends on interconnectors is not as stable in a crisis as individual state grids that are self-sufficient with a few defendable stations which are situated closer to large population centres on shorter transmission lines.

Solar Panels don’t work under a smoke haze, and millions of panels in Melbourne, Sydney and in New Zealand are going to need a good clean or suffer efficiency declines. How many man-hours will that take? Will any injuries or deaths occur from thousands of people climbing on their roof and will anyone even tally up that renewable cost?

The break in the interconnector lines is inside NSW so some power is being supplied by Victoria to “the Wagga area” in southern NSW (just to clear up confusion and thanks to WattClarity and @allanoneilaus).

NSW residents urged to cut power use as fire threatens Snowy Hydro

Peter Hannam, Sydney Morning Herald. Jan 4th.

The NSW grid’s links to Victoria went down late on Saturday afternoon, with Mr Kean issuing a statement urging all residents to preserve power. “The extensive bushfire activity in the Snowy Mountains and other areas of the state have had an impact on our electricity supplies,” Mr Kean said. Just before 7pm, 14,000 people had lost power in Sydney’s north and south-west, and Port Stephens.

 A senior official within a government agency, who did not want to be identified, told the Herald the transmission lines from Snowy “had been taken out”, but a spokesperson for Mr Kean could not confirm the reports. Mr Kean asked consumers to make sure power-hungry pool pumps were turned off, raise air conditioner thermostats to 24 or 25 degrees, refrain from using washing machines, dishwashers or dryers, and turn off appliances and lights not in use.

AEMO was also working with large load electricity customers to reduce their electricity consumption where possible.

UPDATE: News just in Sunday — No significant fire damage to the Snowy Scheme. Jan 5th.

Peter Hannam, Sydney Morning Herald

Two potlines were turned off at the Tomago aluminium smelter – the plant near Newcastle typically accounts for about 10 per cent of NSW demand – to help balance supply and demand. “AEMO estimates we saved 200-300 megawatts of demand” through the public appeals, Mr Kean said. “There was no surplus – every single megawatt counted.” Power supplies have resumed between NSW and Victoria although transmission capacity may not be at full capacity for some time, Mr Kean said.

Engineer Ian Waters sent an open letter to Scott Morrison yesterday afternoon:

Prime Minister you are probably aware of the dramas today with the substations in the snowy mountains – burnt out – and affecting imports of electricity from Victoria? I have attached below what is going on with the grid. Basically we are limited to only 486 Mw of brown coal fired electricity from Victoria – through interconnectors that are supposed to be capable of 1,600Mw. The bushfires have created havoc around the Snowy system and shut down much of the capacity.

You may not be aware Prime Minister – but our local Shoalhaven pumped hydro system is also shut down until further notice because of the massive risk of the Currawan fire to the station. Knowing the condition of the country around there Prime Minister I can understand the fear of every employee and Manager there – even if the Currawan fire didn’t exist you would be bloody nervous!

Prime Minister the Latrobe Valley right now is OK for fires and every Company who runs a Brown Coal fired station down there (except of course AGL with their normal and totally expected bearing failure after commissioning!) are pouring the MW out, Mt Piper is going well, Bayswater and Eraring are performing wonderfully well in challenging conditions and basically Australia is running on coal.

I’ll keep this very simple Scott Morrison – it is a sackable offence for a Prime Minister to continue with the madness of snowy hydro 2.0 knowing the vulnerability of equipment in that region – not to mention the losses, wastage and massive capital cost blow-out.

It is also a sackable offence for a Prime Minister to allow AGL to shut Liddell and – to deliberately run it down as they are now – to guarantee its’ shutdown.

Keep reading  →

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Weekend Unthreaded

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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 forest to plant palm trees or corn for biofuel, to to make way for a solar “farm”. Otherwise, carbon storage = fuel for fires.

The pushback to Green policies picks up speed:

Bushfires: NSW south coast residents furious at ‘lessons unlearned

Greg Brown, The Australian

South coast residents are seething at the NSW government and councils for failing to take ­adequate precautions in hazard ­reduction burning. Numbugga locals Stephen and Janet Lennon said authorities ­failed to learn the lessons from a bushfire in the forests last August.

“They fly helicopters over there and drop (water) bombs (over state-owned forests) but 90 per cent of the time they don’t even work. And then they cast it as if they have done a burn-off, which doesn’t help,” Mr Lennon said.

“You are not even allowed to cut down trees on your property.”

 Policy is changing: Scott Morrison says “Overhaul hazard reduction”

Rosie Lewis, The Australian

Scott Morrison has flagged an overhaul of hazard reduction operati­ons in national parks and laws dictating where land can be cleared and houses built, while acknowled­ging climate change and the drought had extended Australia’s disastrous fire season.

Addressing a press conference for the first time since fires in NSW and Victoria ravaged the coast this week, the Prime Minister again held the line on his government’s climate change policies but said the national security committee of cabinet would meet on Monday to consider a short- and longer-term response.

 Policy is not changing: the Labor party says we should fight fires with a carbon market (tax)

Anthony Albanese said the bushfires were a “national emergency” and called for a market-based mechanism to help combat clim­ate change.

 Scott Morrison must be delighted. How many Chinese carbon credits would have stopped those arsonists?

Back in August the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC said the areas in red were “above normal fire risk” in what will be remembered as quite some understatement. To be fair, they couldn’t know what rain or temperatures would come.

Bushfires outlook

Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative ­Research Centre forecast map Australia

The fire statistics so far

Nicholas McElroyAAP, PerthNow


  • 16 people dead, one missing
  • More than 140 bushfires burning
  • 3.6 million hectares burned, greater than the size of Belgium
  • 1365 homes confirmed destroyed


  • Two people dead, 28 missing
  • About 50 bushfires burning
  • More than 780,000 hectares burned
  • 68 structures confirmed destroyed but this number is expected to rise significantly

Other states data is at the link. Curiously, in WA as much as 1.5million ha has burnt, but only one house was lost.

At least half a billion animals have died. (At least). More will follow with food and water shortages, and a lack of shelter.
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