The Meeting Place

Setting the Prime Minister straight on hazard reduction

The Climate Council has released a new publication on hazard reduction to combat misinformation - some of it coming from the Prime Minister - about what is driving Australia’s catastrophic bushfires. 

“Hotter temperatures and drier conditions, driven by climate change, are the root cause of these fires. It is a dangerous distraction to suggest otherwise,” said former Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins.

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has suggested that hazard reduction is as important as emissions reduction.

“Mr Morrison needs to listen to the experts. Focusing on hazard reduction rather than emissions is another diversion so the Coalition can drag its heels on what’s really needed: effective climate policy,” said the Climate Council’s chief executive Amanda McKenzie.   

Mr Mullins called for attention to be paid to the real reason causing the terrible bushfire tragedy around the country.

“We need to be clear. Hazard reduction is an important tool but it’s not enough to protect us from catastrophic bushfires driven by extreme weather. We need to take action on the root cause, worsening climate change,” said Mr Mullins.

“The conditions this year have been so bad that I’ve seen flames a metre high over mown grass. I’ve seen fires go through areas of leaf litter that had already been burnt just weeks before, and fires burning intensely in areas that had been burnt just a year ago,” he said.

“This year’s bushfire season, is by far the worst on record for NSW and Queensland. To argue that these unprecedented fires have been caused by a lack of hazard reduction is simplistic and just wrong,” he said.

The new Climate Council publication explains how the window of opportunity for conducting safe burns has become much shorter as a direct result of climate change.

“The fire season in NSW now starts in winter and runs until autumn. We no longer have the same window to safely carry out hazard reduction burns,” said Mr Mullins. 

“Even though prescribed burning is becoming more difficult to do safely, the rate of burning in NSW has increased. Despite this we have still seen catastrophic fires, and this is because these fires were a weather-driven event, not fuel-driven,” he said.

The Climate Council has previously published 12 peer-reviewed reports on bushfires and climate change written by world leading authorities.

Should the Prime Minister provide evidence to support his claim that hazard reduction is as important as emissions reduction as a cause for the bushfires?

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There are many sides to this issue some going to impossible extremes. 

Virtually all discussion about “climate change“ fails to discrimitate between man made and natural. Do any of the experts have any figures on this

Yes it is still important to reduce emissions if only to improve the environment but what effect it will have on warming is unknown.

 

 

 

 

Fair comment sensibleone. I think it is well overdue for all these politically biased comments against the Prime Minister of this country. No, I am non-politic, unable to vote, full time resident. I have serious doubts about the vaildity and political basis of the Climate Council. The World (particularly China, India and the USA) have a lot to answer for in their pollution and climate control. There is absolutely no climate control problems in Australia, reaching our targets and therefore there is no gain in abusing the PM apart from political gain.

Time to grow up and, if anyone wants to complain about Australia and/or its PM go to the above mentioned countries so you have something to really moan about. Alternatively look elsewhere to blame other parties involved in not allowing clearance of the forest fuel load. You could also complain about the bushfire donation funds being sucked up in administration rather than going to the needy (human and animal).

 

Good comments, both of you. Anyone wanting to pretend to fix the climate should talk to China, USA and India, especially China & India who have NOT signed the Paris Accord and are free to keep increasing their emissions at a massive uncontrolled rate till 2030! Any further actions by little Australia are totally irrelevant as we are insignificant in comparison to these polluting giants.

Vested interest from all sides. Give it another 20 years and check again (if we are still around).

The temperature/CO2 chart above is inconclusive.  We are talking Centigrade units, and the chart is in Fahrenheit units  It's saying that in 1000 years, temperatures have risen nearly 1 Degree Fahrenheit  (-0.6 to +0.6 Deg F).  That's less than +0.5 Deg C.  Big deal!  look closer and you will see very low temperatures in 1450 AD, 1600 AD and 1850 AD.   Nobody mentions this.  also, CO2 levels have risen from 280-375 parts per million that's 33% increase.  Bullshit again!  How much have our CO2 levels increased in proportion to the total gases in the atmosphere (which is around 0.04% normally) they never say, because they can't measure the difference.  When did they take these measurements?  Winter?, Summer?  So Mr. Della Bosca, before allowing such charts perhaps to prove a point, please understands how charts work, or refer them to someone how knows what they mean.

Both these charts prove nothing, except yes, they show man is making the planet slightly worse.  They have little to show what is really causing climate change.

Several statements in the above report forsee something which will not happen, that is, hazard reduction burns and reducing coal and other polluting emissions, will lead to a halt in global warming.  Yes, there could be a reduction, but no, not enough to stop resultant long term warming. Look for the causesof global warming.  No, t's not higher emmissions, higher C02 levels, increased populations, increased cows (and like animals) and bad weather conditions, though these add to the problem.  So what would be the prime daily event that would warm the surface of the Earth so much?

THE SUN PERIOD. if ou haven't already guessed.  How?  We know for a fact, when the sun shines in day time, we experience hotter conditions especially over dark surfaces then at night time.  Yes, the C02 blanket helps to stop radiation of this daytime surface heat into space at night time, but does it also help to shield us from high daytime temperatures, -possibly.

So why is the net heating effect increasing day by day, year by year, especially over the past 500 or so years?

Simple really.  Tilting of the earth's axis.  This rotational tilting varies from about 0DegC to about 27DegC in a 27,000 year cycle.  At the moment its around 24DegC  and we are moving towards the full tilt before we go back to 0DegC and another ice-age I guess in another 1000 year's time we will start getting colder.  Check out accurately these figures on Nasa's web site.

As the north and south poles tilt more towards the sun, ice begins to melt, the oceans get warmer and obviously rise in level, the weather goes berserk and land masses start to heat up, releasing prescious moisture into the atmosphere, which then falls as cyclones when picked up by the increased winds.  A lot of this rain falls back on oceans, so net effect is drier land.

Sorry man can do nothing about this!  He cannot correct the way the earth moves in its orbit around the sun.  But a good God can.  The good God has seen that while the earth spins with a wobble, it needs to correct itself every 30,000 years or so and go between periods of heat and cold over this period.  this is done through movement of the earth's land masses over millenia with mass on one side balancing the spinning "top" this makes the wobble virtually disapear, the ice poles return, the oceans cool, the weather becomes stiller and the glacial period starts. Meanhile, the sun keeps shining.

Now I start to pray again after many years in the wilderness.

 

The Earth Wobbles  ( I corrected my spelling mistakes)

 

Several statements in the above report foresee something which will not happen, that is, hazard reduction burns and reducing coal and other polluting emissions, will lead to a halt in global warming.  Yes, there could be a reduction, but no, not enough to stop resultant long term warming. Look for the causes of global warming.  No, it’s not higher emissions, higher C02 levels, increased populations, increased cows (and like animals) and bad weather conditions, though these add to the problem.  So what would be the prime daily event that would warm the surface of the Earth so much?

THE SUN PERIOD. if you haven't already guessed.  How?  We know for a fact, when the sun shines in day time, we experience hotter conditions especially over dark surfaces then at night time.  Yes, the C02 blanket helps to stop radiation of this daytime surface heat into space at night time, but does it also help to shield us from high daytime temperatures, -possibly.

So why is the net heating effect increasing day by day, year by year, especially over the past 500 or so years?

Simple really.  Tilting of the earth's axis.  This rotational tilting varies from about 0DegC to about 27DegC in a 27,000 year cycle.  At the moment its around 24DegC  and we are moving towards the full tilt before we go back to 0DegC and another ice-age I guess in another 1000 year's time we will start getting colder.  Check out accurately these figures on Nasa's web site.

As the north and south poles tilt more towards the sun, ice begins to melt, the oceans get warmer and obviously rise in level, the weather goes berserk and land masses start to heat up, releasing precious moisture into the atmosphere, which then falls as cyclones when picked up by the increased winds.  A lot of this rain falls back on oceans, so net effect is drier land.

Sorry man can do nothing about this!  He cannot correct the way the earth moves in its orbit around the sun.  But a good God can.  The good God has seen that while the earth spins with a wobble, it needs to correct itself every 30,000 years or so and go between periods of heat and cold over this period.  this is done through movement of the earth's land masses over millennia with mass on one side balancing the spinning "top" this makes the wobble virtually disappear, the ice poles return, the oceans cool, the weather becomes stiller and the glacial period starts. Meanwhile, the sun keeps shining.

Now I start to pray again after many years in the wilderness.

The scientific evidence is often quoted and its states that there is climate change, I have seen reports that state 93.7% of scientists agree we have climate change, I have done a little bit of research and the above percentages were from an American research group, I have also seen a report from a group of scientists from 80 countries they have put the percentage as 99.1% of scientists agree that climate change is happening, the only thing they all agree on is the climate is changing, some put human contribution as 53% of the identifiable cause, I am not an expert on climate change or the causes, the majority of people seem to agree that we have climate change, I have witnessed the climate changing over the last 70 years, I can't understand much of the rhetoric going on, but it would appear to me that most people agree there is climate change, the arguments seem to revolve around the cause, and I don't actually see many recommendations other than close the mines to reduce the Co2, if the governments of the world believe that coal is the main contributor to the increase in Co2 through coal fired power stations, then why arn't the majority of countries installing solar panels, wind driven turbines or hydro power, I don't pretend to know the answer, but I guess some countries don't have enough sun, wind or hydro, so what are they to do, maybe nuclear is the answer!

Countries are installing solar panels, windmills and the like, that's part of our problem here, we (the LNP) don't want to do it.

Look at this one in poorer India:

https://www.solarcompare.co.in/post/world-s-largest-solar-park-at-karnataka-s-pavagada-is-now-fully-operational?fbclid=IwAR0oeZGC0KO-S8KnE3YbRjb1jvWAbP09cJBDmgyIZx6RI-sG94ebqE09QI8

5%) PV Watt per Capita (2018)[9]1Germany Germany5482Australia  Australia4593Japan Japan442

 Apparently we are not doing too bad with solar, this graph shows us as being No2 in the world per capita, I have looked at other figures that show us as being 4th, 5th and 8th in total solar power produced, it goes to show that depending on the source of information the figures vary greatly, I haven't looked for any collaboration on the figures and I haven't looked at other forms of energy production, something I haven't noticed much of is energy production using gas to drive turbines to create power, there may be a reason for that?

 

Face the facts..climare change is real.. no spin no lies and no bs..

Yes no doubt it is real it has been real for millions of years but how much effect we have on it is the big question 

Irrespective of whether they believe in climate change or climate cycles, Australia’s policy makers must have the courage to learn from history as well as allow themselves to be influenced by contemporary trends.

 “The year had been one of exceptional heat and drought. Pastures had withered; creeks had become fissured clay-pans; water-holes had disappeared; sheep and cattle had perished in great numbers, and the sun-burnt plains were strewn with their bleached skeletons; the very leaves upon the trees crackled in the heat, and appeared to be as inflammable as tinder… the temperature became torrid, and on the morning of the 6th of February the air which blew down from the north resembled the breath of a furnace. A fierce wind arose, gathering strength and velocity from hour to hour, until about noon it blew with the violence of a tornado. By some inexplicable means it wrapped the whole country in a sheet of flame – fierce, awful, and irresistible”

 

The above description could be of Australia in 2020.  Except it’s not.  The quote is from the  Picturesque Atlas of Australasia, published in 1886. And it's a description of the Black Thursday bushfires back in 1851. 

On February 6, 1851, uncontrolled bushfires burnt out ¼ of the State of Victoria.  Five million hectares of land, 1 million sheep, and countless cattle were lost in the fires. The official death toll was 12, although the actual death toll was probably much higher.  The recorded temperature in Melbourne on the day the fires started was the equivalent to 47 degrees Celsius IN THE SHADE.

 That was 170 years ago – years before there were cars, factories and climate change.

 But the fires and the scorching temperatures are historical fact.

 History says that there was another major bushfire in Australia called Red Tuesday. It happened 47 years after Black Thursday on 1 February 1898.  The official death toll was 12 lives again. And at least 2,500 people were left homeless

 One important similarity between both fires was the weather conditions – the bushfires both occurred after the continent had been battered by lengthy periods of drought and multiple heat waves that had lasted 2 years.  

The main difference between the two fires was the amount of land they destroyed. Red Tuesday only burnt out 260,000 hectares, which was a tragedy still, but far less than the 5 million hectares that were lost back 6th February, 1851. 

History hints why the second round of bushfires were less damaging. By this stage,  the Victorian gold rush was in full swing.  Thousands of people had been scavenging wood from the bush and using it for cooking, hating and building purposes for the past 40 years.  And thousands of settlers had cleared the bush for farming. 

Black Thursday etched an indelible lesson into the hearts and minds of every living Australian - “The country will burn uncontrollably if you don’t control burn the country.” 

Irrespective of where you stand on the climate change/climate cycle continuum, history says that Australia has experienced previous droughts and heatwaves in the past and that scorching hot temperatures often precede bushfires.

Red Tuesday was preceded by temperature highs that today we would say are due to "climate change"   Back in 1896 in Bourke, the recorded temperature was 120°F (48.9°C) in the shade.  In Cunnumulla,  it was reportedly 123 °F (50.5°C)  in the shade and the temperature had averaged 114 °F (45.5°C)  for 24 days straight in January.

In January 1898, the Ballarat Star published the temperatures that had recently been recorded at Blanchetown, South Australia.  The article reported that the temperature in the shade had reached 115°F (46.1°C) on November 7th and 15th .  On December 28th and 29th  it was 120°F (48.8°C).  And on December 30th and January 10th it had topped 121°F (49.4°C) .   

Forty years after Red Tuesday there was another massive bushfire in Australia - It became known in history as Black Friday.  The climate events before this bushfire followed the same pattern - drought... heatwaves... bushfires. There are still Australians alive today that recall the summer of 1939 when the temperature in outer Sydney reached 122F (50°C). This temperature was recorded at Windsor Observatory - an official measuring station which had a state of the art accurate measuring device called a Stevenson screen. There were very few cars on the road in 1939, so it would be stretching things to say their emissions caused the fires of 1939

  Read more about the record breaking temperatures on this link if you are interested. 

http://joannenova.com.au/2019/01/forgotten-history-50-degrees-everywhere-right-across-australia-in-the-1800s/

  Our present day fire-fighters are all too aware of the repercussions of not reducing the fuel load.  Their rule of thumb is -“If you quadruple the ground fuel, you get a 13-fold increase in the heat generated by a fire.”   The fires they have been battling in Australia this summer are a direct result of an accumulation of excessive ground fuel.

A fire can't burn without fuel. Our current bushfires are burning fiercely because the forests have a massive fuel load. This fuel load has been accumulating for 20+ years due to green policies - long before Scott Morrison became PM.

 History will keep repeating itself as long as we keep letting history keep repeat itself.  It's time we stopped blaming the climate and started blaming oursleves for not using the fuel 

Food for thought

 

 

I was reading your comment with interest aussiecarer until you wrote near the end: "This fuel load has been accumulating for 20+ years due to green policies". That statement is an outright lie and leads me to wonder how truthful your source is in other detail.

The Australian Greens support hazard reduction burning (before bushfire season) to reduce the impact of bushfire when guided by the best scientific, ecological and emergency service expertise. Our policyon this is clear and hasn't changed recently.https://greens.org.au › bushfiresBushfires, Hazard Reduction and Backburning | The Australian Greens

 

Apart from all the compelling scientific evidence these are my reasons for believing climate change is a result of human activity. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed from one form to another. Photosynthesis, which occurs in leaves, uses the Sun's energy to transform light energy into chemical energy which, in simplistic terms, beaks down carbon dioxide into carbon and oxygen. The carbon is stored as wood, the oxygen is given off as a waste product. Over millions of years the Sun shone and plants grew, died and the carbon, in the form of wood, was transformed into what we now call 'fossil fuel' eg oil, gas and coal.

Prior to Man’s evolution carbon dioxide was mainly a result of volcanic activity and fires, but there were enough trees and plants to handle all the CO2 so there was a balance and as the atmosphere became more oxygenated newer life forms, such a mammals, evolved and eventually Man. Up until about 250 years ago all the CO2 (including what Man created by fires etc) was photosynthesised by vast forests and grasslands, everything was in balance. Then came the industrial revolution, man needed enormous amounts of energy so burned coal and then oil and gas. At the same time vast tracts of forest were cut down to provide farmland and building materials for the population increase, as shown in Penguin44’s graphs above, from 600 million in 1700 to nearly 8 Billion in 2019.

All the energy accumulated by the Sun over millions of years was released into the atmosphere over a very short 250 years and the forests and grasslands which would remove the CO2 were decreased. The result was an imbalance, too much CO2 for the available forests to photosynthesise, and global heating resulting in a change of climate

What we do about it is the question.

 

I know they are trying to do the right thing BUT I can not be convinced that acres and acres of solar panels AND wind turbines can be good for the planet -- it is too unnatural,  the problem is that there have been too many trees cut down and too much crap put into the oceans and the planet, etc. and that is the problem.   

Trees are the lungs of the earth and the earth is suffering from severe lung problems!

 

Hey, fair go!.

Time to get back on track!

Nobody with half a brain is denying climate change isn't real or isn't happening.  What I discussed above is the prime cause, and so many are bullshitting without knowing the facts.  Man made pollution does contribute to global warming, no doubt and no arguement.  But as a prime cause that's crap.  Why?  Because the global earth is so large, man made pollution (let's call it MMP) pales into insignificance with the total heat energy of our sun radiated out into space, far exceeds what man has produced since the earth was formed.   

On the sun's surface billions of hydrogen bombs are exploding every minute, if not every second.  This energy radiates out into space, and earth, although tiny in size compared to the mass of the sun, cops it's share of the radiation.  This radiation doesn't diminish much, as it is being transmitted into a vacuum, so all that saves us from roasting to a charcoaled mess are the earth's ozone layer and remaining gases that deflect this radiation.

The earth has adapted to living with day and night, and this includes all living things, including man (And women to be politically correct), and also 4 main seasons.  What dumboohs,  causes day and night, winter summer, autumn and spring:- it's obvious, the bloody sun!  Stop the bullshit and acknowledge we are facing the peak of global warming whether we fart, cows fart, bushfires, burning fossil fuels or any other minor reason the earth is heating up.

Simple! the more exposure to the sun's rays, the more heat we absorb.  The blanket formed by C02 emmissions doesn't help to cool the earth when the sun doesn't shine, but that doesn't stop the tremendous energy absorbed by the earth during daytime.  When you expose the earth's poles to more sun, what do you expect?  Yes dumboohs, more ice melt and warmer oceans.  This raises sea levels and causes severe climate change.  All these are effects, not causes.

You don't need to be Einstien to figure this out, but I'm amazed he didn't consider it important enough to comment much further.  Somebody admit we can't do anything except reduce the effect of pollution to stop global warming for the next 500-1000 years, after which we will need all fuels to burn to keep us warm as we move to a new glacial ice age.  Any scientist who knows basic thermodynamics, should go back to school and understand the reals cause of global warming.  Can someone prove me wrong?  I lay down my challenge.

All these comments usefully add to the debate. It seems to me that the attack on the Prime Minister is misguided. It is that because we are in a time of debate. Science is put up as the holy grail when no-one guided by scientific principles could regard the current evidence as clear and irrefutable evidence of imminent distruction at human hands. 

Just the same, I am happy to follow the weight of scientific opinion since it should be more closely grounded in reliable evidence than my own. Also at the same time, to suggest that this is less than a very complex matter seems wrong to me. To raise the spectre of a single or even a primary cause of recent calamity seems grossly simplistic. 

We waste at the potential expense of that which follows us. This alone is sufficient reason for extreme care in our treatment of environment. Yet, there are other elements that a single spectre glosses over. Population growth, habitation in less accessible or more fire prone areas, yes, that can mean proximity to fuel loads not so prevalent previously. Inhibitions regarding minimisation of fuel load also figures. Without the advantage of a retrospective view it is also difficult to isolate natural swings in the likes of precipitation and temperature.

Brought up in a rural area and regularly impacted by 'fire season' the events always seemed manageable. Farmland was essentially grassland where one way or another the growth of fires could be impeded. Farmers were spread fairly evenly and were individually highly vigilant and prepared. Even when fires ran wild into bushland too impenetrable at the time for early extinguishment we knew they were unlikely to break far beyond the leeward boundaries. It would be incorrect to say this was the case in all rural areas but it was in ours. 

We should take a scientific approach. That I think will entail placement of many theories yet to come. These will face testing for universal reliability. Perhaps eventually we will be able to see those resolve into known truths but it is much too early for that now. We do ourselves no favours by preaching universal solutions or raising spectres. Leave that to our half-blind pious past. Quietly watch, record and work now for solutions which make a difference. Meanwhile concentrate on our individual footprint, minimise the waste to the future. Hope that will also have a positive impact on the potential for calamity. The scale of these things cannot currently be calibrated in the face of complexity and rapid change but it seems a fair guess that there will be positive impact.

One person can make a difference if their neighbour sees what they are doing and follows suit, one state can make a difference if the neighbouring states see what they are doing and follows  suit, one country can make a difference if their neighbours see what they are doing and follow suit.

If everyone sits tight and waits for others to make.a start, nothing will improve.

Australians used to be innovators,  we used to be  social leaders, we now seem to be content with a wait and see attitude.  Since when did Australians sit around do nothing and wait for someone else to save us?

No amount of campaign slogans or moving figures around on a spreadsheet will make an ounce of difference to the problems we face.

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