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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Happy New Year 2020

Wishing everyone good luck and less government in the 20′s!

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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

Joseph Lycett, Firestick farming.

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 men and women created the landscape of Australia. They used fire to create and fertilise fresh new grass for the grazing animals that they hunted, to trap and roast grass dwelling reptiles and rodents, to fight enemies, to send smoke signals, to fell dead trees for camp fires, to ward off frosts and biting insects, and for religious and cultural ceremonies. Their fires created and maintained grasslands and open forests and extinguished all flora and fauna unable to cope with frequent burn-offs.

Early white explorers and settlers recorded the smoke and the blackened tree trunks. They admired the extensive grasslands, either treeless or with well-spaced trees, and no tangled undergrowth of dead grass, brambles, branches and weeds.

Making fire without tinder boxes or matches is laborious. So, most aboriginals tried to keep their fires alive at all times. When on the move (a common situation), selected members of the tribe were charged with carrying a fire stick and keeping it alight. In really cold weather several members may have each carried a fire stick for warmth. When the stick was in danger of going out, the carrier would usually light a tussock of dry grass or leaves and use that flame to rejuvenate the fire stick (or light a new one). As they moved on, they left a line of small fires spreading behind them. They have been observed trying to control the movement of fires but never tried to extinguish them.

Early explorers who ventured inland were amazed to find extensive grasslands and open woodland. Their reports attracted settlers to these grassy open forests and treeless plains with mobs of cattle and sheep.

Despite modern folk-lore tales about aboriginal fire management skills, anyone reading diaries from early explorers such as Abel Tasman (1642) and Captain Cook (1770) soon learned that aboriginals lit fires at any time, for many reasons, and NEVER tried to put them out. If threatened by fires lit by enemies, the most frequent response was to light their own protective fires (now called back-burning). Fire lighting was deliberate, and sometimes governed by rules, but there was no central plan. There were no fire-fighters, no 4WD tankers, no water bombers, no dozers, and no attempt to put fires out. But aboriginal fire “management” worked brilliantly. Because of the high frequency of small fires, fire intensity was low and fires could be lit safely even in hot dry summers. Any fire lit would soon run into country burnt one or two years earlier and then would run out of fuel and self-extinguish.

Water Bomber

The futility of water bombing a million hectares

The early squatters quickly learned about the dangers and benefits of fires, and like the aboriginals, they learned to manage fire to protect their assets, grasslands and grazing animals. The settlers had more to lose than the nomads. Graziers need to protect their herds and flocks, homesteads, hay stacks, yards, fences and neighbours, as well as maintaining their grasslands by killing woody weeds and encouraging new grass. So their fire management was more refined. They soon learned to pick the right season, day, time of day, place, wind and weather before lighting a fire. And if threatened by a neighbour’s escaping fire or a lightning-strike fire, back-burning from roads and tracks was the preferred way to protect themselves.

Today we have replaced decentralised fire management by aboriginals and settlers with government-nurtured fire-storms.

First governments created fire hazards called National Parks, where fire sticks, matches,  graziers and foresters were locked out and access roads were abandoned or padlocked. And Green-loving urbanites built houses right beside them, and planted trees in their yards. The open forests and grasslands were invaded by eucalypt regrowth, woody weeds, tangled undergrowth, dry grass, logs, dead leaves, twigs, bark and litter – all perfect fuel for a wild-fire holocaust.

These tinder-boxes of forest fuel became magnets for arsonists, and occasionally even disgruntled neighbours, or were lit by wind-blown embers or dry lightning. With high winds, high temperatures and heavy fuel loads some fires will race through the tree tops of oil-rich eucalypt forests.

To download this article with all images click:

Photo by Filippos Sdralias on Unsplash

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Keep it coming XR: Just some average Aussie naked people trying to scare the kiddies

Hello to attention seeking patsies everywhere.

Boy are they going to regret this when they figure out they’re not saving The Planet, just the banksters and socialists.

XR protest Dec 22, 2019, Adelaide. Naked.

Rebels stripped down and asked for the naked truth on the climate emergency during peak shopping hours in Rundle Mall, South Australia. #ClimateCrisis #ExtinctionRebellion.  Photo George Mason.

— XRSouthAustralia (@XRSouthAus) December 22, 2019

So this is what happens when Extinction Rebellion grows up:


No more climate cover ups indeed.    Photo George Mason.


Just another ordinary worker trying to warn us about climate werewolves:

XR protestor, Adelaide, Australia.


Someone someday is going to do a very interesting study on the power of suggestion on gregarious hominids. Could industrial marxists convince university educated young men and women to strip naked in public and paint their bodies while forecasting the end of the world if people don’t buy their products? Isn’t education supposed to protect them from that? We got the kids out of the mines and factories and they grew up to be advertising banners for big government instead.

Don’t stop now XR. All you need is someone like this on every street corner.

Seriously, just watch the expressions of South Australians as they walk past the XR Christmas Choir. That’s a nation not freaking out.

h/t To Graham Richardson in The Australian

Extinction Rebellion crowd full of hot air and coffee

 … anything is possible in a land where we sit on 400-year supplies of high-quality coal that will guarantee supply at a reasonable price and a vocal crowd is dumb enough to say we should leave it in the ground.

The worst part of this selfishness is the attempt by some to prevent India from importing our coal to fuel its endeavours to increase living standards. It was only in ­recent decades that some people there still starved to death.

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Goldman Sachs pledges $750 billion on climate change — bankers just want to save the world too

Just when you think banks are only in it for the money, along comes Goldman Sachs to advise us on the planetary atmosphere:

“Goldman Sachs released a 34-page analysis of the impact of climate change. And the results are terrifying.”

Banks, Climate Change, Money, Carbon trading, logos.

All these nice banks want to save Earth too.

Yusef Kahn, Business Insider, Sept 2019

For some reason (what could it be?) a few months ago the Goldman Sachs investment bank was gripped with a sudden urge to repackage the IPCC report. Perhaps they were afraid their clients didn’t watch CNN, the BBC, or, pick-any-channel, maybe they couldn’t afford a television?

  • A Goldman Sachs report on the impact of climate change on cities across the world makes for grim reading.
  • The bank warned that “consequences of a warming world may well play out over several decades to come, even if efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions are successful today.”
  • Rising temperatures would lead to changing disease patterns, more intense and longer-lasting heatwaves, more destructive weather events, and pressure on the availability and quality of water for drinking and agriculture.

“Despite the uncertainty around the timing and scale of the impact, it may be prudent for some cities to start investing in adaptation now,” Goldman says. “Urban adaptation could drive one of the largest infrastructure build-outs in history. Given the scale of the task, urban adaptation will likely need to draw on innovative sources of financing.”

In his abject terror, journalist Yusef Kahn forgot to ask if Goldman Sachs would profit from this.

The very day the UN Galactic Junket COP25 ended in near complete failure, Goldman Sachs was ready to step in with good news.

December 17th:

“Goldman Sachs pledges $750 billion on climate change”

Elizabeth Dilts-Marshall, Sydney Morning Herald

  • Goldman Sachs said it’s planning to spend $750 billion on sustainable finance-related projects over the next decade.
  • The firm also said that it will restrict financing to all new oil production and exploration projects in the Arctic, and that it would impose stricter lending requirements for coal companies.
  • “There is not only an urgent need to act, but also a powerful business and investing case to do so,” Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon wrote in an opinion piece published Sunday in the Financial Time
  • “To give us the best chance of combating climate change, governments must put a price on the cost of carbon” says Goldman Sachs, CEO David Solomon.

And what wonderful investment opportunities there are if governments can be hectored into demanding forced payments from citizens for better weather. But the profits in this are not so much in the suckers buying windfarms as is the banks doing the brokerage. The windfarm owners will be completely dependent on government rules in order to make any profit (and the fickle wind). Their market could evaporate and they may be left with a bunch of factories making intermittent random and sleep destroying volts that no one wants.

As Tyler Durden says –

750 Billion Reasons Why Goldman Is Rooting For Greta Thunberg’s Success

Tyler Durden at Zero-Hedge

Goldman CEO David Solomon announced the plans in an editorial in the Financial Times, where he wrote that there is “a powerful business and investing case” for the bank to take steps to address climate change and the growing worldwide opportunity gap. Very powerful: having failed to make almost any money from the bank’s last foray into carbon tax and cap-and-trade, Goldman is now seeking to directly appeal to fellow fake virtue signalers, who in turn will hope to extract capital from naive investors pursuing the oh so noble goal of only investing in green, renewable, and “clean” (whatever that means) projects. Goldman’s bottom line, assuming a blended 3% commission on the $750BN in financial services it sells to gullible clients, works out to about $22.5 billion – a “powerful business case” indeed.

…earlier this year Goldman worked with Italian electricity company Enel to raise $1.5 billion through a bond offering that linked the investments to Enel’s commitment to increase its renewable energy base by 25% before 2022.

Translation: Goldman made about $15 million selling a bunch of bonds to a bunch of “green” liberals managing other liberals’ money. Because when central banks have taken over the market and Goldman’s own trading desk is shrinking quarter after quarter, and when the coming negative rates will make Goldman’s recent investment into retail banking a disaster, one can always make money betting on liberal guilt,…

As I’ve been saying for ten years and six months that the main game is the international carbon market, and the main beneficiary are the bankers. Climate change is potentially a $7 Trillion dollar money making venture (for bankers).

If Goldman Sachs can earn twenty-two-thousand-million dollars for shaking a few green hands, why wouldn’t they hire a squad of science hacks to write reports and issue press releases? Indeed, they’d be crazy if they weren’t donating a few million here and there to Greenpeace types too. Who knows — there might even be a business case for hiring teams of astroturfing trolls? It’s only an idea.  But $22 billion in profits makes all kinds of things possible.

Nine years ago Deutsche Bank had the same urge to write a 51 page science report. They also built 70 foot tall clock towers of doom.

Here we go again in Climate Bubble 2.0.

The bankers are back.

h/t Treeman, Pat, Dave B, Hugh P.

Related stories on Bankers in Climate Change


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Weekend Unthreaded

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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 prominence to push for greater climate action and do more to look after player and spectator welfare.

Evidence = one guy who didn’t drink enough water on a 42 degree day which has happened in summer for 150 years in Australia (and probably the last ten thousand years):

Conditions in the middle of the ground can reach into the high 50s, with English captain Joe Root hospitalised with dehydration during the Sydney Test in 2018 when the air temperature hit 42 degrees Celsius, as a heat tracker in the middle of the ground showed 57.6C.

Other evidence = junk climate models we know are wrong:

Meanwhile, the “shoulder months” of November and March are expected to heat up to become as warm as recent Decembers.

Two minutes of actual research that the ABC didn’t do:

Over 150 years ago people played cricket in Melbourne at 42C and in partial darkness due to smoke from bushfires. Heres a man in 1912 remembering a match he went to as a child Jan 14th 1862. It may have been even hotter than that. The BOM offical records say it was 44C. But hey, it’s not like we pay the ABC to phone the BOM and ask them…

Heatwaves, Cricket, 1862, Australia.

Heatwaves, Cricket, 1862, Australia.


Then there was the time players had to abandon cricket due to heat, when it was 45C in Albury in 1939 and the town ran out of ice. Forget the hype, “conditions were not the best, and the “players generally stood manfully up to the heat” — unlike modern snowflakes at Monash Uni and millenials at the ABC.


Usual lies-by-omission pretending that Mildura did not exist before 1970:

Both Monash Uni and the ABC are either incompetent or deliberately erasing history:

ABC 2019:

Mildura batting away heatwaves and dust storms already

Over the past 40 years, the north-west Victorian city of Mildura’s average daytime January temperature has increased by 2.7C. Recently it endured three days over 40C, with last Saturday’s round of games cancelled.

A quick search for Mildura, Cricket, Heat finds a cricket game in Mildura in November 24th, 1900 at 42C. The Meteorological records were printed right next to the cricket column, and in Nov 1900 there were four days above 42C. 

Past peer reviewed science reports told us scientists were worried that temperatures in Australia had fallen from 1880 to 1950. (Deacon et al 1952)

The only thing this story shows is that big government funds are always used to make Big Government even bigger.

Readers here might like to find even hotter more scary stories from Trove. I didn’t have long to look…


Deacon, E.L. (1952) Climatic Change in Australia since 1880, Australian Journal of Physics, Volume 6, Pages 209-218.  [PDF]


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Merry Christmas to all!


Wishing everyone a wonderful day today. Thanks for all the support!

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Midweek Unthreaded

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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 the ABC won’t say: That global warming means more rain, not less. Droughts haven’t got worse, and climate models are really, terribly, awfully pathetically bad at predicting rain.

Four reasons carbon emissions are irrelevant

1. Droughts are the same as they ever were.

In the 178 year record, there is no trend. All that CO2 has made no difference at all to the incidence of Australian droughts. Climate scientists have shown droughts have not increased in Australia. Click the link to see Melbourne and Adelaide. Same thing.

Rainfall trends, cycles, Australia, Sydney, Graph, 2019, 1840 - 2020

Rainfall trends, cycles, Australia, Sydney, Graph, 2019, 1840 – 2020. All the data we have, looked at in all the ways we can think of shows CO2 is not controlling our rain.

A warming world means more rain. Mega droughts were worse. 178 years of CO2 emissions have no measurable effect on rainfall in Australia.

LindenAshcroftabDavid J.KarolyacAndrew J.Dowdyb(2019) Historical extreme rainfall events in southeastern Australia, Weather and Climate Extremes , 100210

And even more droughts and trends graphs here.

2. No more 40+ hot days either (unless you “adjust the data”)

The raw data shows no trend in days over 40C since World War I.

There are a hundred ways to measure a heatwave or a hot day. This is one from our 60 best and longest stations. The BOM could easily slice, dice and change the parameters and create a scary graph. The only antidote to being bamboozled is to read the old newspapers. Go Trove.

Very hot Days

History changing before your eyes.

Here’s a PDF copy of these three animated graphs side by side. Thanks to Chris Gillham WAClimate for this work.

3. Rainfall trends across Australia have gone up not down

Despite the Cracked-Earth propaganda there is not, on average, across the nation — a trend towards dryness.  Some regions are drier, and since climate models can’t predict where or when that’s just something that happens.


Australian Rainfall trend, BOM, Bureau of Meteorology, Graph, 2019.

Australian national rainfall trend, Bureau of Meteorology, 2019.

I’ll leave it to Professor Andy Pitman to explain how there is no a priori reason for a link between climate change and drought.

To be fair he clarified this later saying “we don’t understand what causes droughts” but “the indirect link is clear”. This sort of clarity happens all the time in the climate world.

4. Climate models can’t predict the rain thing:

A lack of rain causes fires, but climate models can’t predict rain. (See the whole post about the five different models predicting five different rainfall patterns). Only solar factors appear to be linked to rainfall, and none of the models include those factors (could be a clue there). For ideas about the solar influence see here, here, here, and here. Send them to your neighborhood climate modeler.

Here are comparisons of 5 different models over Australia. Is CSIRO Mk 3.6 the “right” model, and who predicted that in advance?

One of them might get it right, accidents do happen, especially if you predict nearly every possible outcome.

Figure 2.1.1: Leading mode of annual rainfall variability over Australia, from observations (Bureau of Meteorology), the CSIRO Mk3.6 and Mk3.5 climate models, and three leading international models: HadGEM1 (United Kingdom), GFDL CM2.1 (USA) and MIROC 3.2, medium resolution (Japan).

Source: Indian Ocean Climate Initiative


4. Prescribed burns are the only way to stop massive firestorms.

Fuel reduction in WA has reduced fires for 60 years. Here’s that graph from WA for the sixth time… let’s keep repeating this killer graph as long as people are still blaming “climate change”.

Fires, burnoff, Western Australia

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

5. The worst recorded fire in Australia was in 1851

Read some of that misery at the link. CO2 was perfect and five million hectares went up in flames.

Last word: The is one risk that extra CO2 incurs and that is that burnt areas will regrow faster. Thanks to CO2 the biomass of greenery has increased all around the world. So preparing for climate-change means we need to do even more hazard reduction than we did fifty years ago.

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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.

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, Ross Bradstock, said that to protect Sydney housing:

We have worked out you have to burn 20 per cent of the landscape per annum to significantly reduce the size of wildfires, fires under severe weather.(50)

– Australian Parliamentary inquiry 2002-03

Data sources:

Keep reading  →

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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 of the places using beer crates, verandahs and stone walls — they were recording temperatures like 130 F in the shade (a blistering 54.4C), and we didn’t even use those readings to create the heatwave map of 1896 (below). See Marra station N.S.W. and Berlino  S.A..

If the ABC wants to focus on Bourke, bring it on. Let’s talk about how cooling trends were changed to warming ones, and how they threw out original data, and from a Stevenson screen — a record of 51.7C in 1909 — wiped “because it was a Sunday”. We can detail the site, the moves, the ground, the equipment and the flaws — apparently better than the “experts” can.

The Australian heatwave of 1896, Map.

The Australian heatwave of 1896

My point remains — how can the BOM say they “know” it was cooler?

Where is the scientific accuracy to a tenth of a degree coming from? They can’t admit they don’t know and that it might have been as hot or hotter in 1896.

ABC: 435 people died in an 1896 heatwave — but scientists say the extreme heat events of today are still hotter

By Sophie Meixner and Daniel Nancarrow

This is what 97% certainty looks like — a bunch of vague caveats

Wait for it: they “know” it was cooler because it can’t be “easily compared” and is “likely suspect”?

The Bureau of Meteorology noted in a 2017 report the 1896 data “cannot be easily compared with modern recordings”.

“Detailed study has shown that extreme temperatures recorded at Bourke during the 1896 heatwave were likely suspect due to non-standard exposure, and likely around two degrees warmer than temperatures recorded with standard instrumentation.”

The Experts don’t even know the Bourke readings in 1896 came from the post office on Oxley St:

University of Melbourne climate researcher Linden Ashcroft said thermometers in Bourke were likely placed in sub-standard conditions in 1896. “Some thermometers were under verandahs, or they were against stone buildings,” she said. “I’ve heard of thermometers being kept in beer crates.

How about 51.7C in Bourke recorded in a Stevenson screen in 1909 then? Still not good enough?

It wouldn’t matter if Bourke had a Stevenson screen in 1896, high temperatures would still not be accepted. How do we know, because Bourke had a modern Stevenson Screen and recorded 51.7C in 1909 and the BOM threw the original data in the bin and declared it invalid, “Because it was a Sunday”. Jennifer Marohasy and Graham Lloyd documented the whole scandalous incident where a long cooling trend was changed to a warming trend, and original documents were binned:

January 3, 1909, an extremely hot 51.7C (125F) was recorded at Bourke.  It’s possibly the hottest ever temperature recorded in a Stevenson Screen in Australia, but the BOM has removed it as a clerical error.

The Stevenson Screen went to the dump and, but for fate, the handwritten notes could have gone there too. But without instruction, the records were kept and are now under lock and key, held as physical evidence of what the weather was really doing in the mid-20th century.

Independent research, the ­results of which have not been disputed by BOM, has shown that, after homogenisation, a 0.53C warming in the minimum temperature trend has been increased to a 1.64C warming trend. A 1.7C cooling trend in the maximum temperature series in the raw data for Bourke has been changed to a slight warming.

 Apparently official temperatures were not recorded on Sundays in 1909 in Bourke, therefore it didn’t occur. Sure. No observer would voluntarily come in to work on the hottest day in history to note down the temperature. Probably there were too many other exciting things to do in Bourke, right? How about the observer in Brewarrina, a town near Bourke, who recorded 123F the same day. Both liars? Both wrong. It didn’t happen. You vill repeat after me comrade…

History is being destroyed.

Who’s in denial?

This is not just about Bourke. Lance Pidgeon and Chris Gillham and the BOM audit team including Warwick Hughes list extraordinary hot temperatures in 49 places. This was an Australia wide heatwave. Were they all wrong?

Geraldton W.A., Geraldton W.A.  Geraldton W.A. Perth W.A., Mullewa W.A. ,Carnarvon W.A., Pinjarrah W.A, Southern Cross W.A.,Wilcannia N.S.W., Isisford Qld. , Bourke N.S.W, Canowindra N.S.W, Farina S.A., Ungarie N.S.W, Farina S.A., Quirindi N.S.W.,Bulli N.S.W., Kiama N.S.W. ,Parramatta N.S.W., Camden N.S.W, Araluen N.S.W. ,Brewarrina N.S.W, West Wyalong N.S.W , Nannine W.A., Farina S.A. , Broken Hill N.S.W., Farina S.A., Charleville  or  Cunnamulla QLD., Olary S.A. , Adelaide S.A , Swan Hill Vic, Farina S.A., Mildura Vic , Broken Hill , N.S.W., Halbury S.A. , Rapanyup Vic ,Natimuk Vic ,Bega N.S.W. ,Geelong Vic , Hergott Springs S.A. ,Grenfell and Ivanhoe N.S.W, Charleville, QLD , Cunnamulla QLD ,Isisford QLD, Wilcannia N.S.W., Hillston, N.S.W., Wilcannia N.S.W. , Middle camp station Netely N.S.W. Gundabooka Station near Bourke. (or try here). Nelyambo station . Namagee N.S.W., White Cliffs. N.S.W.,  New Angeldool,  N.S.W. Mossgiel N.S.W.

Bourke: Perhaps the BOM should hire a skeptic and find out about their own sites?

Let’s talk some more about Bourke. Skeptics like Dr Bill Johnston have inspected it closely (We published his 8 page documentation here). Did the BOM “detailed study” explain that they artificially warmed their own modern expert site in 2013 by clearing the ground around it? Bourke’s temperature station is one of the eight longest running and best in Australia, yet it’s still terrible. It started in 1871 and is still listed as one of Australias top 104 ACORN sites. The reading in 1896 would have come from the official post office, in Oxley Street several allotments east of the courthouse. The site has moved several times (Johnston lists them all).  Bourke temperatures are hotter now than in the past because of site changes, not the climate.

Temperatures recorded there since 1999 have been artificially raised by site moves, a shrinking screen, electronic “super sensitive” thermometer, faulty and missing records and possible calibration problems:

“an automatic weather station (AWS) 700 m away in 1999, which used a small 60-litre screen and which reported whole-degrees before 2002. The many temperature values that were culled shows the AWS was frequently over-range, probably because its [rapid response-rate probe]* operating in the small screen recorded flurries of warm air that would not affect thermometers housed in large screens; or that due to calibration problems it was prone to spiking on warm days.

* Lance Pidgeon clarifies that it’s the rapid response rate which is likely causing the artificial spikes.

The BOM doesn’t fix their sites, they just magically homogenise the data instead, through a secret process. We call it vandalization:

Australia’s ACORN-SAT temperature datasets are riddled with problems. The process is opaque; lacks statistical control; synchronous inter-site changes such as replacing 230-litre screens with 60-litre ones and thermometers by AWS at infrequently serviced sites beside dusty tracks and in paddocks at airports, are propagated across the network by the process. Thus few ACORN-SAT datasets are independent of collective problems. Using comparator data that are not homogeneous to adjust faults in ACORN-SAT has no merit and should be abandoned. — Dr Bill Johnston

But the taxpayer funded “expert” doesn’t seem to know any of that, and the taxpayer funded ABC journalists are so incompetent they don’t ask. They only needed to do a ten second internet search to find the skeptics here that have done all their homework for them. It’s yet another example of how the ABC acts as a apologist propaganda agency to cover up for incompetent work from other government groups. Save the children, sell the ABC!

It’s all religious faith and excuses — not science

The UNSW genius explains that more people died in Bourke because “they wore more clothes”:

People weren’t prepared for heatwaves in 1896

University of New South Wales climate researcher Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick said people in 1896 were largely unprepared for extreme heat, meaning they were more vulnerable to its effects.

“Back then everyone wore a lot more clothing than what they do now, there was no air conditioning, people worked outside, they moved outside a lot,” she said.

“It’s like comparing apples and oranges.”

So if it’s like “apples and oranges” how can the BOM / CSIRO / UNSW say they “know” it was cooler? Only because of their faith, not their science.

Air conditioners, and cheap electricity will save more Australian lives than anything else

The only point the ABC gets right is that more people died in 1896 because there were no airconditioners. They don’t mention that scientific studies show these are the biggest lifesaver around (Achebak, 2018), they also reduce indoor pollution, and that more Australians will die if electricity prices keep rising as we force more unreliable, random, bat killing, volt-busting, generators which force out the cheap baseload suppliers and cost us more in pointless capital, land, staffing, inefficiency, and maintenance. Airconditioners save 20,000 lives in USA each year. (Barreca, 2016).

Scores dying in Bourke in 1896

Lance Pidgeon points out that the ABC are downplaying the deaths, saying “The town of Bourke lost at least 40 people — 1.6 per cent of its population” (as if that isn’t catastrophic!). He finds evidence that it was many more than this:

Of those 40 I have only been able to name 61.
So far. See

Even now it is not known how many men perished ; and it may not be known for months. There was a time when the “travellers,”
having fairly defined beats, were known and almost expected ; but latterly quite a new class has appeared —unknown city men, who, generally biding themselves under aliases, may be dead for months and never, if indeed ever, be missed. Already a few unfortunates have been found—one near Warri Warri, another on Morden, two on Nundora, and another, it is stated, on Yancannia. On Tickalara, on the Queensland border, a young man named Myers and an old man named George Smith succumbed ; the cause in each case is said to have been sunstroke.

How about those names from South east QLD.

Who’s dodging the point?

Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick then tries to distract us from the topic the BOM and climate experts are unscientifically exploiting — the short heatwave. Suddenly she is talking about seasonal averages or annual averages, but the BOM is generating headlines and trying to scare people about heatwaves this week. Watch the goal posts shift:

Temperatures today are still hotter overall

Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick said even taking into account flawed thermometer conditions, average temperatures in 1896 were still lower than last year’s average. “Around [1896], temperatures on average over Australia for that season were about one degree hotter than the overall climate mean,” she said. “But then in 2013, that summer was 1.5 degrees hotter than average.

“And last summer was over two degrees hotter than average.

“So although [1896] was a hot season, it wasn’t nearly as hot as some of the seasons we’ve seen since then.”

History denial?

The record “hottest day” in Australia graph on the ABC news last night only started in 1970 (a cool time when scientists were panicking about the coming ice age). Have they even tried to calculate the “hottest day” in 1896? And would we believe them if they did, after they have homogenised away many of the hottest days in Australia with two revisions of 100 year old data in the last six years?

h/t to Warwick Hughes, David B, George. Based on great research from Lance Pidgeon and Chris Gillham and the whole BOM audit team. Thank you!

If you are fed up with the ABC and BOM please help fund the independent research and commentary here.

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

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This blogger could really use some help


If you can help me, I can say more the things that need to be said in the battle with the freeloaders

The war on science continues, and the bank account needs your help. It’s ammunition to keep exposing corruption, incompetence, hysteria and history.  Thanks for you support via Paypal and  Not-paypal. I can’t do this without you…

The Consensus on Climate Change

Climate Denier cartoon.
We battle against the self-interest of “Green energy investment” which is around $400 billion a year. The Big Bankers too, still want their cut of a $7 trillion global carbon market — perhaps they want to save the world, or maybe they need a new yacht? But Big-Government don’t seem keen to give grants to writers who want to stop Big-Government abusing science. And fossil fuels — they not only don’t fund me, the largest gas and oil producer in Australia wouldn’t even let me speak at a Christmas dinner for geologists. Such is the toxic spell being cast. Woodside dropped like a bomb on a volunteer run committee.

The self-serving are gaslighting the gullible.

Keep reading  →

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They mix one-sided climate hype and six year olds. What did they think would happen?

They declare a climate emergency and use children as political weapons and wonder why children are distressed?

ABC needs to run advice columns now dealing with the aftermath of watching the ABC:

How to talk to children about climate change

ABC Radio National By Sarah Scopelianos

It’s bad:

… one protest, against the Adani coal mine, sparked a “tough moment” for her son, who was around six at the time. He became “absolutely devastated” about global warming and damage to the Great Barrier Reef. “He cried, and he was so distressed, and I was quite taken aback just how strong his feelings were,” Ms Roberts [his mother] says.

Expert psych says give them both sides of the story… no wait, she says turn them into mini activists:

Environmental psychologist and therapist Dr Susie Burke co-wrote the Australian Psychological Society guidelines on talking to children about climate change.

Dr Burke advocates for parents to support their children, which could include helping their child write or send their letters to a local politician, or to heroes of the environmental movement.

“It’s helping children to shift their anxiety from just focusing on the troublemakers,” Dr Burke says.

Skeptics say “teach them history” instead, and that they need to research both sides of the debate.

Ms Roberts, the activist parent, thinks nature made her kids activists:

The Roberts family has a strong connection with nature that began with simply spending time outdoors — camping, gardening, visiting beaches and forests. “That’s mostly where their strong feelings of wanting to get active are currently coming from,” says Ms Roberts, who is a member of Australian Parents for Climate Action.

Does spending time outdoors make kids want to be climate activists, or is it spending time with activist parents really the problem?

She might want to look at the data on postcodes of kids suffering with climate anxiety and eco-fear.

Meanwhile councillor Dick Gross says we should scare them til we have evidence to show they are actually mentally ill:

Is this the right time to say “precautionary principle”:

His council was one of the first to declare a “climate emergency”, and he says there is space for that phrase in conversations with kids.

“The moral panic that we’re terrifying our kids is either not true or it’s exaggerated,” he says.

“To get people to change their beliefs on climate change, you have to have tangible evidence and you have to scare people,” he says.

“Until the evidence comes in that there’s been an outbreak of mental ill health because of the climate conversation, I’ll still continue to take my view that from an epistemological point of view, we have to scare people or at least make them aware.”

If only he had waited for evidence that it was worth scaring kids in the first place.


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Hottest ever day in Australia — especially if you ignore history – Eg. 1896

Tuesday was Australia’s hottest day on record sayth the Bureau of Meteorology.

And perhaps it was. But look at the temperatures reported in newspapers across the country during the month of January in 1896 when people were going mad with axes, dropping dead in coaches and railway stations and birds were falling lifeless from the trees? Emergency trains were ferrying people from the country to the mountains. Panic stricken people fled the outback on special trains and the death toll was in the hundreds.

Fifty years later scientists would publish papers talking about how Australian summers had cooled since then.

How does the BOM know for sure that it was not hotter on any one of these days?  Perhaps they don’t. Wouldn’t it be more honest of the BOM to mention that? It’s not like billions of dollars depends upon it…

Seems the only time the ABC or BOM suddenly discover our historic weather records is when we get unseasonal snow or freezing cold.

See below for the links to the newspaper stories for all of these temperatures (Click to enlarge the map)

Thermometer Farenheit Celcius scale

Photo: Jo Nova

The heatwave started in the West on Jan 1st and travelled eastwards, as most heatwaves do. The hottest day was possibly Jan 23 or 24 in 1896 which is when most of the Eastern States maximum temperatures shown above were recorded. And there are hints that this was both widespread and long — some of these towns recorded three long weeks of ultra high temperatures close to and over 110F (43.3C) like Nannine in WA (near Meekatharra) and Cunnamulla in Qld. Both reported peaks as high as 120F (48.8C). In Bourke temperatures were above 102F (38.9C) for 24 days in a row.

The BOM will say things were not entirely standardized or approved back then. But why would they care? Many of the BOM’s current sites fail their own standards:  thermometers may sit for 30 years over bitumen, or right next to incinerators. They plough around sites, move them, build walls next to them and forget, even next to their own offices. The BOM accept one-second records from new electronic gizmo’s in small screens, and adjust old temperatures down by as much as two whole degrees. Sometimes modern BOM sites need mysterious calendar monthly corrections, or get corrected by thermometers across the Bass Strait, and sometimes they are incredibly detailed but repeat robotically year after year. Remember those temperature maps of our deserts in WWI? There are sites where there are no thermometers which record exactly the same temperatures as they did the year before (and the year after). Just “made up”? The hottest day ever recorded was probably calculated with maps like that.

The BOM can hardly be precious about scientific standards 130 years ago when they have so few themselves today.

And let’s not forget that in 1896 thermometers were nearly a 200 year old technology*. There was not much in the way of urban heat island effects –  no airports, no five lane super highways, small populations, and some of these temperatures come from trained expert observatories. And let’s not forget either, as we just discovered, that there’s been no change in Very Hot Days in Australia since World War I (at least until the BOM adjusted them).

Here are the links to the hot days that were recorded but don’t exist

History down the memory hole: Links go to the newspaper article of the day

Geraldton W.A. Wednesday, 1 Jan 1896 - 114° F “at Geraldton observatory“.
Geraldton W.A. Thursday, 2 Jan - 115° F “A child succumbs to the heat. ” at “ Northampton, where the thermometer ranged even higher than at Geraldton.”
Geraldton W.A. Friday, 3 Jan - 125° F most papers, 115° F in some (possibly a date error as it matches the previous day).
Perth W.A. 3 Jan - 112° F ” Five deaths have been reported in the city on account of the great heat.”
Mullewa W.A. 3 Jan - 121° F “The town has been enveloped in clouds of dust.”and “crowds of people have bad to sleep out of doors. Water is very scarce.”
Carnarvon W.A. 3 Jan - 121° F Brick House station “It is farther reported that the mercury has been up as high as 125 in the shade there.”
Pinjarrah W.A. 3 Jan - 114° F followed by a minimum of 97° F.
Southern Cross W.A. Week ending 5 Jan - ”averaged 115deg.” “It has often been as high as 122deg.” Mr Mkay died in his office chair of heat apoplexy.
Cue W.A. Sunday, 5 Jan - ”Three weeks of uninterrupted excesive heat“ ”each day exceeded 105“ ”on two occasions reaching 118.
Wilcannia N.S.W. Monday, 6 Jan - 117° F “Wyalong follows close with 114°. Then come Nowra and Corowa with 112.”
Isisford Qld. 6 Jan - 112° F ” The Government Astronomer states that the high temperature has been caused by a heat wave which has come across the continent from Port Darwin,“.
Bourke N.S.W. 6 Jan - ”The fact is that out of 93 weather telegrams sent in, 64 gave temperatures ranging from 100° at Cooma, Tabulam, Tenterfield, and a few other places, up to 118° in the shade recorded at Brewarrina and at Bourke. There were 22 stations which reported temperatures ranging from 110° to 118° inclusive.
Canowindra N.S.W. 6 Jan - 114° F “Reaching the highest point on record“.
Farina S.A. 6 Jan - 113.5° F “the place occupied by the thermometer being a shadebox such as is used at the Adelaide Observatory.
Ungarie N.S.W 6 Jan - 125° F “rural districts do not always recognise the nice distinctions between true shade and other shade.”
Farina S.A. Thursday, 9 Jan - 112.3° F
Quirindi N.S.W. Monday, 13 Jan - 120° F. Out of 54 temperatures shown on that list only one does not meet the 95° F (35° C) heatwave threshold.
Bulli N.S.W. 13 Jan - 115° F “This has been, the hottest day known“.
Kiama N.S.W. 13 Jan - 117° F ” A Scorcher Everywhere. Death and Distress.
Parramatta N.S.W. 13 Jan – 111 ° F “Fruit Broiled on the Trees.” “Birds and Animals Drop Dead.”
Camden N.S.W.  Tuesday, 14 Jan - 123°F ”Great Heat Wave ” “LIST OF CASUALTIES.”
Araluen N.S.W. Friday, 17 Jan - 110° F “It was thought that the heat had passed, but it was back again to-day
Brewarrina N.S.W 17 Jan - 122° F “125 deaths attributable to heat apoplexy” (Sydney).
West Wyalong  N.S.W 17 Jan - 114° F “The thermometer at the post office“.
Nannine W.A. Saturday, Jan 18 - ”After about three weeks of most oppressive heat, with the thermometer frequently registering 120deg. in the shade, the weather has broken.”
Farina S.A. Tuesday, Jan 21 - 112.3° F “Old residents say this is the hottest summer they have ever experienced.”
Broken Hill N.S.W. Wednesday, Jan 22 – 113½° F ”Two horses dropped dead in the street from the effects of the heat.
Farina S.A. 22 Jan - 113° F “The temperature of our police cell was 148° several times.”
Charleville  or  Cunnamulla QLD. 22 Jan – 120.5 ° F (116 °F official ) “The average daily temperature from the 1st instant exceeded 114 degrees.” 25 days!!
Olary S.A. Thursday, 23 Jan - 116° F “and dust flying in clouds during the afternoon.”
Adelaide S.A. 23 Jan - 111° F “Herbert Crown, an ostler at the Langham Hotel, fell down in King William-street this afternoon with sunstroke.”
Swan Hill Vic 23 Jan - 116° F “To-day, it is again exceedingly oppressive”.
Farina S.A. 23 Jan - 114.3° F “Five deaths have occurred in the town and one outside“.
Mildura Vic 23 Jan - 120° F “PHENOMENAL HEAT IN VICTORIA.
Broken Hill 23 Jan - 115° F “Dr Enill took the temperature of the body an hour and a hall after death, and found that it was 109¾ .”
Halbury S.A. 23 Jan – 118° F “Many children are unwell, and it will go hard with them unless a change soon, comes.”.
Rapanyup Vic 23 Jan - 113° F “To-day it is again exceedingly oppressive“.
Natimuk Vic 23 Jan - 115° F ”Telegrams from the country districts show that the heat was general throughout the colony.”(Victoria).
Bega N.S.W. 23 Jan - 113° F “The minimum heat during last night was 73 . To-day the heat was terrific In the true shade the reading was 113 at 2pm“.
Geelong Vic 23 Jan - 110° F ” Largely due to a burning north-west wind.
Hergott Springs S.A. 23 Jan “On three different days it showed 118° and three times 116°, the average for the last month having been 113°F.
Grenfell and Ivanhoe N.S.W. 23 Jan - 122 ° F “At Ivanhoe the heat was so intense that the mail horses fell dead on the road.”
Charleville / Cunnamulla QLD. Friday, 24 Jan – 126/5° F “The official readings at the Post Office are lower; but the instruments used are placed in a thickly-planted garden which has been heavily irrigated during the last week,” So at which town was this garden and non stevenson screen recording? The clue is in the name “Grosvenor” here.
Cunnamulla QLD 24 Jan – ” The official record showed a reading on Tuesday of 111 degs. in the shade, on Wednesday 116 degs., and to-day 117 degs. On Wednesday at midnight, the high temperature of 99 degs. was recorded.”
Isisford QLD 24 Jan – “The thermometer on Monday rose to 114 degs., on Tuesday to 112 degs., on “Wednesday 115 degs., and to-day 118 degs. The country is very bare and the water is giving out fast.”
Wilcannia N.S.W 24 Jan - 123° F “not a breath of wind was stirring during the night”.
Hillston N.S.W. 24 Jan- 115° F “Anything under 110 is now beginning to be looked upon as contemptibly cool.”
Wilcannia N.S.W.  Saturday, 25 Jan – 120° F “The thermometer fell 50deg. at Wilcannia, but a death from sunstroke occurred there yesterday.”


125°F at Middle camp station Netely (Perhaps 160 kilometres south-east of Broken Hill).
129°F at Gundabooka Station near Bourke. (or try here).
125°F at Nelyambo station (Near Nyngan?).
121°F at Namagee N.S.W. “There is no appearance of a change“.
125°F at White Cliffs.
124°F at New Angeldool,  Jan 27.
124°F at Mossgiel (Where is that?).

There are even more extreme examples listed in the original 1896 post, like Berlino 130F, which ““hangs on a stone house with a thickly thatched verandah facing West” … “never reached by the sun“. Instead, these seemed like the more reliable estimates.


Thanks to Chris Gillham, Lance Pidgeon, Ken Stewart, Warwick Hughes, and all the BOM audit team. So much more still to come. Thank you!

* Was 300 years.

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Mega-blazes run riot and witchdoctors rage against them in Australia

The big decision Australia faces — We could try to stop all arsonists, lightning, wind, droughts and cool the entire world, or we could reduce the fuel. Which will it be?

In Australia, the situation is comi-tragic. As potential record-breaking heatwave heads eastwards across the country our fire-fighters are reduced to emergency backburning– an act of sheer desperation on the verge of panic in these conditions. The fires they light in the hope of stopping firestorms are causing firestorms — with flames 70 meters high  –  even burning down one of the RFS captains homes. This is fuel reduction six months too late. One twelve year old drove a car to escape a fire. 2,000 firefighters are battling 108 blazes. A coal mine and a power station are in the path in NSW. The Mount Piper Power Station generates about 10 per cent of NSW’s electricity and is 3km from a fire front. At the coal mine unprocessed coal lies on the surface. How much fun can you have?

Temperatures of 44C (111f) and 46C (114f) are forecast for the outskirts of Sydney on Friday and Saturday.

Fire has already consumed almost three million hectares of land across NSW this bushfire season driven by hot, dry and windy conditions. Six people have died, and 724 homes, 49 facilities and 1582 outbuildings have been destroyed. — Nine news

The East Coast is a cauldron of fuel, millions of hectares of dense match-sticks waiting-to-go.  Meanwhile Greens are complaining about the smoke haze and pollution that their policies created and chanting about “climate change” with all the indulgent self righteousness and scientific reasoning of injured four-year-old fortune-tellers.

The grown-ups see things differently.  Roger Underwood is a former General Manager of CALM in WA (Dept of Conservation and Land Management), a regional and district manager, a research manager and bushfire specialist. Roger Underwood has 60 years experience in Australian bushfire management. He is one of the leading experts behind Bushfirefront, and this graph (below) that I keep showing. For 18 years they’ve been warning “reduce fuel”, “reduce fuel”, “reduce fuel”.

As he says: Fire need three things — oxygen, fuel and a spark. The only thing we can control is the fuel.

The big decision Australia faces — We could try to stop all arsonists, lightning, wind, droughts and cool the entire world, or we can reduce the fuel. Which will it be? The intellectual giants running the national conversation are still not sure which way to go.

Bushfires, fuel reduction, hazard reduction, graph, WA. Australia.

In Western Australia after the major fires of 1961 a massive and dedicated fuel reduction program stopped wildfires for twenty years. Then as the prescribed burn area fell, the wildfire emergencies returned. Its obvious, unarguable, and agrees with everything else we know. It’s still to complicated for the ABC.

A one degree temperature rise does not create a firestorm

The difference between 39C and 40C is not the difference between normal and catastrophic fires.

Modern witchdoctors wave their windmill-totems and want us to stop fires with solar panels and batteries — so possibly in one hundred years we might get shorter droughts, slower winds, less lightning, and temperatures that might be a meaningless 1 degree cooler (in their wildest dreams and with no possible numerical justification even through their own broken, failing models and as assessed by their favourite mass foreign committee of 26,000 experts).

Even if we sacrificed our economy and way of life and somehow achieved what they wanted the nation would be a powder-keg for the next hundred years, and then after they “succeeded” it would still be a powder keg.

Watch this space… pray for people, koalas and forests. Trainwreck in action in Australia…

– Jo


Climate change versus bushfires: killer flaws in an unhelpful and dangerous argument

by Roger Underwood

A group of former “fire chiefs” are blaming the current bushfires across Australia on climate change, and demanding that Prime Minister Morrison takes urgent action to fix the climate. This, they claim, will fix the bushfire threat.

This position is not just unhelpful, it is dangerous. Even if we could change the climate (cooler summers, saturating winter rains, light breezes, no more droughts), it would not influence the current weather patterns or stop the fierce bushfire coming up the driveway this afternoon. Even if we knew exactly how to change the climate, anything we do in Australia will have to be replicated globally (especially in China and India) to make any difference, and even if these climate-changing measures were applied globally tomorrow, the desired new climate might not cut in for many years.

The “climate-change-is-causing-bushfires”  position  has two killer flaws.

  • First, it takes no account of fuels; and second
  • It prescribes no practical actions that will help with the immediate bushfire threat.

Ignoring fuel is an error of astonishing magnitude and seriously undermines the credibility of the “fire chiefs”.  It is almost as if they never studied elementary bushfire science. In Bushfire 101 we learned about The Fire Triangle. This illustrates a fundamental reality:  a bushfire (in fact any fire) can only occur if three things are co-present: oxygen (in the air), fuel (to burn) and heat (a source of ignition to get the fire started).

If any one of the three is missing the result is no fire.

Unfortunately, nothing can be done to remove the air and the oxygen it contains. Unhappily, nothing can be done to stop bushfires starting. They will either be lit by Mother Nature in the form of lightning strikes, or will be started by humans, either deliberately or accidentally.

But bushfire fuel can be removed, or at least the quantity of fuel around a house or in the bush can be reduced to a point where a fire will burn at a relatively low intensity , allowing  firefighters to deal with it relatively comfortably.

On the other hand, if fuel is allowed to build up, as happens in long-unburned eucalypt bushland, the eventual fire will be of high intensity. If a crown fire results, generating a downwind ember storm, the fire will be impossible to control and highly damaging, no matter how many thousands of firefighters and water bombers you throw at it.

Blaming climate change for the current spate of bushfires ignores the fact that these bushfires have proven almost impossible to control once they got going. This is because they are burning in heavy fuels dried out by drought. Ignoring fuel is the ultimate cop-out. It absolves the authorities of any responsibility for the incubation of this fire epidemic, and especially it absolves the former “fire chiefs” for not doing their job over the years, allowing dangerous levels of fuel to accumulate in the nation’s bushlands.

Keep reading  →

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