A Sunburnt Country, debris hoarding and boys with matches

Liberal MPs say there’s no use ‘beating around the bush’ — bushfires are stoked by climate change.

“We cannot deny that these fires have been going on for weeks and we need to address the causes of them,” he said.

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55 Responses to A Sunburnt Country, debris hoarding and boys with matches

  1. Mark M

    Kean interview with Joe O’Brien on abc 24.

    Highlights the decades of protecting the environment they have done, yet the bushfires are earlier than before … evah.

    That would be a fail, Mr Kean.

  2. stackja

    I am not Kean on Matt.
    Matt supervises national parks.
    Most NSW fires seem to have started in or quickly spread to overloaded fuel parks.

  3. Mother Lode

    I saw that in the newspaper.

    The dross and detritus that has built up in his head he had best avoid going near the fires himself.

    But look at how casually he leaps from ‘big fires’ to ‘climate change’.

    It is as if someone finds a cup broken it is indisputable proof of the big scary cup-smashing dragon.

    Someone should ask him how he would distinguish between the situations where the big scary climate-change dragon breathed its fiery breath on the landscape, and another scenario where fuel loads were allowed to build up to unprecedented levels.

    Perhaps also how he has determined that the Climate Change monster leads to bigger fires rather than more frequent normal ones.

    In truth, this Environment Minister is being remarkably derelict in his duties since his devotion to the fictionalised view of the environment means he is ignoring the real one.

    One by one his kids are going to grow up and reach an age when they realise Dad is an idiot, and forever after that will be how they see him. In everything he says or does.

  4. Mother Lode

    Highlights the decades of protecting the environment they have done, yet the bushfires are earlier than before … evah.

    Greenies always predict events after they happen.

  5. the sting

    ” reduced stream flow ” ??? Go have a look at the Murray River which is flowing near the top of it’s banks , down into SA to make a saltwater lake fresh .

  6. jupes

    “We cannot deny that these fires have been going on for weeks and we need to address the causes of them,” he said.

    Imagine if we had real journalists in this country. Ones who could ask the obvious questions such as:

    What do you suggest the NSW / Australian government can do about it?

    Can anything the government does change the weather? If so by how much?

    Do you think regular back-burning will have more effect than reducing CO2?

    etc …

  7. The BigBlueCat

    The NSW Government states their position here. As far as they’re concerned they don’t know the impact of climate change on bushfires and they are recommending more research be done. Another trough for pigs’ snouts???

    Bushfires need:

    vegetation – there needs to be enough vegetation (fuel)
    dryness – the fuel needs to be dry enough to burn
    weather – the weather needs to be favourable for fire to spread
    ignition source – the fire needs something to start it

    Climate change may or may not impact any of these (well, weather for sure, but what if the trend is for colder?). What is important is the effective management of the risks of bushfire, whether climate change is an issue or not. These federal government fools are deluding the voters that they can actually influence climate change (they can’t) when what they should really be doing is managing risks (not just their electoral risks).

  8. Bruce of Newcastle

    Maybe they should read some history.

    The temperatures, drought and bushfires are just about a perfect repetition of the Federation Drought of 1895-1903.

    Back then there were three el Ninos in the lead up:

    One aspect that has generally not been recognised, however, is that the
    rainfall deficit and its accompanying heatwaves, dust storms and bushfires,
    together with their huge impacts on the environment and human activities,
    were the result of three closely following El Niño events. The first stage
    ran from 1895-98, with the summer of 1897-98 suffering some of the most
    extreme recorded weather in Australia – heatwaves, bushfires and dust
    storms in the south-east

    Sound familiar? We’ve just had el Ninos in 2015-16, 2017-18 and a weak Modoki el Nino in 2019. We also have a record high IOD this year which is a drought indicator in conjunction with el Nino.

    The Federation Drought also occurred at the same phase of the ~60 year thermohaline cycle, two cycles ago. None of this has anything to do with CO2, which even government climate scientists acknowledge.

  9. Robbo

    Yeah let’s do something about those fires. Here’s a suggestion for those bedwetting MPs who have shit for brains. During the coming winter months spend some money to have a huge clean up of ground fuel and ignore all that bullshit about leaving it there to assist native animals travel around. Next start applying some real penalties for the mobs of arsonists, young and old, who deliberately light fires. The cause of most fires are men, women and children and when caught they need to spend a year or two in the slammer to reflect on their moronic sick behaviour. I could goon a lot more about this but I know I am wasting my time.

  10. Alex Davidson

    In the SMH Kean decreed that “no one can deny” the link between climate change and bushfires. I wonder what he proposes to do with “deniers” like me.

    The guy is a fool. No one can deny that governments and councils have been on a crusade against clearing and hazard reduction for decades. Ask anyone who lives on a bush block. Can you clear vegetation on your own land, or does the council behave as if they own your land? Do you need to run along cap-in-hand to your local fire service for “permission” to carry out hazard reduction work on your own land? Have councils or the government carried out any hazard reduction work on nearby public land recently? Have they removed any trees lining the roads you need to use to evacuate if fire breaks out?

    No, instead they have created draconian regulations against any steps you might take to mitigate bushfire risk on your own property, backed up with severe fines and aerial surveillance just to make sure you obey. In the minds of our rulers, the ‘found state of nature’ is far more important than personal safety, freedom and prosperity. They have made trees and scrubland Australia’s sacred cows, and must be held accountable for the harm this mad policy has caused.

  11. rich

    ohm ohmmm ohmmm ohmmmmmm

    Anyone who disagrees is a heretic!

  12. Ubique

    If we had all gone vegan, bought electric cars and had solar panels installed, none of this would have happened!

  13. LBLoveday

    “…we need to address the causes of them“.

    And as Robbo says “The cause of most fires are men, women and children and when caught they need to spend a year or two in the slammer to reflect on their moronic sick behaviour”.

    Robbo is far more lenient than I am – I’d charge them with attempted murder and if someone does die, murder.

  14. Diogenes

    During the coming winter months spend some money to have a huge clean up of ground fuel and ignore all that bullshit about leaving it there to assist native animals travel around.

    They did this in the Grose Valley(Blue Mountains) over winter. The burns were massive.
    Q. What part of the Blue Mountains has NOT gone up in flames ?

  15. max

    NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean should be fired and his department closed down.

    Green-made bush fires in Australia
    As with California, green policies in Australia have worsened naturally occurring bush fires.

    Man-made Wildfires in Australia
    By Viv Forbes

    No one should be surprised that our bush is ablaze and our cities are smothered in smoke.
    For decades now we have been locking up land, banning burn-offs and encouraging eucalypt fire-trees.
    On a hot day, the blue haze on distant timbered hills is intensified by highly-flammable eucalypt oil vapour, waiting for a spark.
    The Australian landscape of open forests and treeless grasslands was developed and maintained under an aboriginal regime of continual small fires. This was followed by planned cool-season burn-offs by European graziers.
    But a few decades ago this safe black and white fire regime was replaced by green-worshippers who continually expanded the area of locked-up protected parks (now over 11% of Australia). Then they peppered private land with protected-vegetation fire hazards, and then hampered undergrowth clean-ups and burn-offs.
    This created many tinder boxes of eucalypt fire-trees waiting for a spark. The spark could be a fearful landowner seeking fire protection with a risky/belated back-burn, a thrill-seeking arsonist, a dry-lightning strike, a careless cigarette butt, a power-line problem or high-flying burning embers – and an unstoppable fire storm is inevitable.
    Centralised management of bush-fires and National Parks has failed totally.
    Locals and neighbours are better at managing fires and park land. Posturing politicians and uniformed fire generals should confine themselves to posing for photos, baking scones and boiling billy tea for fire-fighters.
    And Greens should serve on the fire front.

  16. max

    Bushfire sense in Australia By Viv Forbes

    Australia is a land of deserts, droughts, floods, bushfires, flammable forests and fire-prone grasslands. These conditions have developed since the start of the Holocene Warm Era, about twelve thousand years ago. All previous Australian bushies, both black and white, have recognized the key principle of fire management in Australia: you can have many small, managed “cool” fires in early spring or a few unplanned, disastrous “hot” fires, consuming a heavy fuel load in hot dry winds in late spring. (Arsonists have other priorities and light their fires at these most dangerous times.) Every generation of Australians sees its fire disasters, and the worst ones get names — “Black Thursday” in 1851; “Black Friday” in 1939; “Ash Wednesday” in 1983; and the worst to date, “Black Saturday” in 2009. Not even an armada of expensive water bombers will stop these bushfires — at that stage, fire can only be prevented or contained by fire. Good fire management disappeared as rural voters were outvoted by the green leafy suburbs. Urban greens thought we could prevent all fires and encourage wildlife by locking up more parks and encouraging fire-loving, oil-containing eucalypts and flammable weeds close to towns and dwellings. (Many native plants require fire to burst open their rock-hard seed pods.) Graham Lloyd of the Australian notes that even the Hippies of Nimbin blame greens for “the incendiary state of the Australian bush.” Even more stupid are those who think politicians can control or abolish droughts and bushfires by banning the use of coal and oil in a futile attempt to lower global temperature. The sun, the oceans, and recurring El Niño droughts will dwarf all efforts of puny politicians. We need good fire and forest management and prosecution of arsonists, not costly climate distractions.

  17. Tom

    Liberal MPs say there’s no use ‘beating around the bush’ — bushfires are stoked by climate change

    There is not a single story that appears on the ABC News website that couldn’t also be a press from the Australian Greens. Apply that test sometime to satisfy yourself. It’s uncanny.

  18. Herodotus

    Matt Kean is on Kenny Report outing himself as a completely nong-like alarmist.

  19. Vagabond

    An important question that nobody has addressed is the amount of CO2 emitted by the bushfires. I’m sure it would be equivalent to a lot of coal fired generation that the idiots have been shutting down.

  20. Herodotus

    The Federation Drought also occurred at the same phase of the ~60 year thermohaline cycle, two cycles ago. None of this has anything to do with CO2, which even government climate scientists acknowledge.
    Thanks Bruce of Newcastle – someone should tell the idiot politicians this.
    Kean is a completely arrogant twit.

  21. Herodotus

    Most NSW fires seem to have started in or quickly spread to overloaded fuel parks.

    Will Matt Kean do something about this?
    Doesn’t sound like it. He’s rambling on about mitigating climate change while creating jerbs and strengthening the economy.

  22. thefrollickingmole

    Our emissions are roughly 136 MT a year.

    Chinas increase in emissions over the last 10 years (till 2015) has been roughly 2 GIGA tons

    Given these are mathematical facts how much further reduction in Australias emissions will prevent future fire events?

    Yours, with ALL due respect thefrollickingmole esq.

  23. Herodotus

    They have made trees and scrubland Australia’s sacred cows, and must be held accountable for the harm this mad policy has caused.
    Not much hope of that being done by the politicians. One QLD farmer is in gaol for murdering an inspector, but of course one cannot condone violence.

  24. Dianeh

    If the Govt truly believed in global warming and that it causes an increase in number and in the severity for bushfires, then the only course open it to take drastic measures now to mitigate the effect using such tools as burn off, hazard reduction, removal of trees and grazing in national parks. The alternative is to wait 50 years for their greenhouse gas reduction policies to take effect.

    And the reason they don’t, is that they know that if they undertake to mitigate risk and are successful, it will become obvious that climate change is not the cause of the destructive bushfires but mismanagement is.

  25. max

    Bureau of Meteorology had nice articles about natural disasters which conveniently disappear with new faith.

    Why is Australia drought prone?

    Australia is prone to drought because of its geography. Our continent sits more or less astride the latitudes of the subtropical high pressure belt, an area of sinking, dry, stable air and usually clear skies. The far north and south of the country come under the influence of reasonably regular rain-bearing disturbances for at least part of the year, and the east coast is watered reasonably well by moisture from the Tasman and Coral Seas. However over most of the country rainfall is not only low, but highly erratic.
    Many, but by no means all, droughts over eastern and northern Australia accompany the El Niño-Southern Oscillation phenomenon, which typically lasts about a year, as in 1982/83. Droughts in the western areas and over much of the interior normally have different causes. Nevertheless, on some occasions (such as 1914 and 1994) El Niño-related droughts may extend across virtually the entire country. On such occasions, the economic and livestock losses are exacerbated

    https://web.archive.org/web/20010420130534/http://www.bom.gov.au/lam/climate/levelthree/c20thc/drought.htm

    The “Federation Drought”, 1895-1902

    Many of Australia’s worst droughts occur when one or two very dry years follow several years of generally below average rainfall. Such was the case in the so-called “Federation drought”, which began in the mid 1890s and reached its devastating climax in late 1901 and 1902.

    The five years leading up to Federation (January 1901) saw intermittent dry spells over most of the country, particularly in 1897 and 1899; in most of Queensland, dry conditions were virtually unbroken from 1897. Most other parts of the country had reasonable rain in 1900 and early 1901, but with the coming of spring 1901 very dry weather set in across eastern Australia. By February 1902 concerns were expressed about Sydney’s water supply, and the New South Wales Government declared 26 February a day of “humiliation and prayer” for rain in that state. Similar declarations were made in Queensland in April and Victoria in September, as the drought worsened.

    Despite the pleas for divine intervention, things only got worse. Though there was some winter-spring rain in Victoria and NSW, cold weather nullified its usefulness. In Queensland, enormous sheep and cattle losses were being reported by August. On some far western properties, cattle numbers plummeted from tens of thousands to mere hundreds. Rivers in western Queensland dried up; at Bourke, the Darling River virtually ran dry. Further south, towns near the Murray River such as Mildura, Balranald and Deniliquin – at that time dependent on the river for transport – suffered badly. The Australian wheat crop was all but lost, with close to the lowest yields of the century.

    The drought began to break in mid-December when heavy general rain fell in Victoria, with more after Christmas. Rains extended to NSW and southern Queensland, while northern Queensland had reasonable falls from December onwards.

    In Queensland, the 1902 drought was the culmination of eight years that were dry more often than not over most areas. These years had a devastating effect on stock numbers: sheep numbers fell from 91 million to 54 million, and cattle from 11.8 million to 7 million. The drought began focussing minds on irrigation, especially in the three states through which the Murray River flows: but it wasn’t until the next severe drought in 1914 that the River Murray Commission was created.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20010428224347/http://www.bom.gov.au/lam/climate/levelthree/c20thc/drought1.htm

    https://web.archive.org/web/20010610160153/http://www.bom.gov.au/lam/climate/levelthree/c20thc/flood.htm

    https://web.archive.org/web/20010619010024/http://www.bom.gov.au/lam/climate/levelthree/c20thc/temp.htm

    https://web.archive.org/web/20010619001851/http://www.bom.gov.au/lam/climate/levelthree/c20thc/cyclone.htm

    https://web.archive.org/web/20010619002624/http://www.bom.gov.au/lam/climate/levelthree/c20thc/drought.htm

  26. max

    max
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    #3258233, posted on December 11, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    can moderator check my comments thanks.

  27. Mother Lode

    Yours, with ALL due respect thefrollickingmole esq.

    That little?

  28. Mother Lode

    max,

    The sight is fraught with traps, snares, sink holes* etc.

    You must avoid reference to the original Abrahamic religion, the latest one, spherical objects – and a hole range of seemingly innocuous words.

    You should still be able to see your comment. Look at each word and ask yourself “What would a dickhead do with this word?”

    *Sinc holes?

  29. FelixKruell

    “We cannot deny that these fires have been going on for weeks and we need to address the causes of them,” he said.

    Does he mean the arsonists who lit them?

  30. Beachcomber

    NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she expected Mr Kean to be a “champion of climate change issues”.

    S.F.L.s. They are (almost*) all unprincipled cowards and quislings for the left.

    * Craig Kelly seems to be an exception.

  31. B.A.Lert

    Big fires are due to fuel load, drought, wind and mismanagement. Kean, like any other weak as piss Polly, is trying to cover his arse. Hiding behind climate change as more fingers point to the disasteress policies put in place by his department.

  32. jo

    Use Matt Kean to talk to the fires. Since he is an oxygen thief of the highest order the fires would go out. Not the sharpest tool.

  33. My eldest son lives about 15 kms from Inverell on Bundarra Road. His bush block of around 300ha has been burned out twice in 10 years from public land fires. He backs on to the Copeton Dam catchment area and lightning strikes started both fires. In the latest one early this year he risked his life to save his home, only the areas he soaked with water saved it, tanks, farm vehicles, fences, building supplies for an extension all lost. When he wanted to burn off in late winter, they were not allowed, too dry they said, yet the powers that be did nothing after 2010 to prevent the same scenario. We are governed by a bunch of morons. The first fire wiped out a colony of highly endangered turquoise parrots and the last a colony of black wallabies. Governments say they care but they really only want power over everyone really

  34. thefrollickingmole

    That little?

    Possibly less.

  35. Roger

    “We cannot deny that these fires have been going on for weeks and we need to address the causes of them,” he said.

    OK…we know what needs to be done in the eucalyptus forests to mitigate fire conditions next spring/summere, but what does he propose we do about the Indian Ocean Dipole?

  36. Lee

    I despair at the state of the modern Liberal MPs (with a very few exceptions).

    Labor is absolutely no alternative. and yet I am supposed to vote for one of them.

    Things are even worse in Victoria, if you’re a conservative or right wing supporter.

  37. Bronson

    Kean captured by the bureaucrats in National Parks whose actions or lack there of bought NSW this disaster. NSW labor under Wran and then Carr sowed the seeds for this disaster decades ago closing down working forests and fencing them off as National Parks to be run by an organisation that was opposed to any active fire management. As for the former Commissioners and Chief Officers not one of them can point to any effort on their parts while in the job to deal with the issue of locked up public lands. In fact you will easily find statements from them opposing more planned burning during their collect times in the chair.

  38. Helen

    The Federation Drought also occurred at the same phase of the ~60 year

    Bruce do you think that is where we are now? If so, how far in are we, or is it yet to start?

  39. Squirrel

    “We need to be doing our bit to make sure we mitigate or adapt to these more extreme weather events happening and we do our bit to abate carbon and reduce the impact of climate change.”

    Just the usual stuff about Australia leading the world through virtue-signalling tokenism.

    Mr Kean is probably too young to remember that previous Strayan efforts to lead the world did not meet with great success – nuclear disarmament and tariff disarmament are two which come to mind. The optimists are still waiting for those two Nirvanas to come to pass.

    Taylor got it right in Madrid – it’s about the availability of affordable technology, not charging ahead on a blind crusade of destroying other people’s jobs and communities to make privileged twits feel good about themselves.

  40. Bruce of Newcastle

    Helen – I have no idea whether the drought will persist. I am struck by the parallels is all. ‘Prediction is hard, especially about the future.’

    I haven’t read much about the Indian Ocean Dipole, and that seems to be the most important oscillation driving such things. On the other hand if a la Nina occurs we should have good rain even if the IOD is in positive phase.

    My talent is linking data with other data. Sometimes the link is real, other times it is coincidence. But for the politicians in the LNP (and others) the message I’m giving is this is entirely in keeping with natural climatology.

  41. stackja

    Glad Bag doesn’t know what to do on fires. Now if Greenwich wanted something that would be different.

  42. Helen

    Thanks Bruce, sort of off topic but it is so hot there has been a hawk sitting all day in the rain of the sprinkler I have had under the tree to cool the air down for my baby poddies.

    Pity the calf born in the sun at midday – he dies of heatstroke. Normally we have a few hot days 2-3 then a barrel of rain,but here we are, still no real rain and hot, hot, hot, 41-43 every day. High evaporation rate on the dams, lucky we put a heap of tanks and troughs in earlier so real water issues, like nightmare last year, but with such a late break following a light wet last time, no grass. The girls are doing it really tough. All we can do is keep the lick block up until it rains, prob not til January though Weatherzone the running dog tells me there is a high probability of rain on the 20th. As Mr Zone changes his mind every day, I shall believe it when I see it.

  43. Helen

    IOD in pictures (which is good for me!)

  44. Rohan

    Robbo
    #3258134, posted on December 11, 2019 at 11:58 am
    Yeah let’s do something about those fires. Here’s a suggestion for those bedwetting MPs who have shit for brains. During the coming winter months spend some money to have a huge clean up of ground fuel and ignore all that bullshit about leaving it there to assist native animals travel around

    No point Robbo. Next winter there’ll be nothing left to burn.

  45. Bruce of Newcastle

    it is so hot there has been a hawk sitting all day in the rain of the sprinkler

    Helen – Sad for your calves. The instinct of the birdies is fascinating. One summer a few years ago we had a 45.5 C day here, which was a record or thereabouts. A big blocking high in the Tasman heated everything up.

    What was really interesting is the two kookaburra chicks of that year spent the whole day sitting in the plastic waterbowl I put out for the birds. I had to put another bowl out for the others, who couldn’t get near it due to the kookas. It was obviously instinct, and the adults didn’t do it – just the kids.

    My exploit today was to get the sole remaining magpie chick to accept food from my hand – the only kid this year as the sibling vanished, probably eaten.

    Good clear video!

  46. Bruce of Newcastle

    While on such things here is a link for climate variations and Australian farmers.

    Climate Kelpie

  47. Helen

    Thanks Bruce, I might have to call on higher powers for rain. The dogs are dogging it. Smart Kookas, glad to hear about the remaining Maggie chick, now he is on Chez Bruce mince his chances of survival are high.

  48. Howard Hill

    In the SMH Kean decreed that “no one can deny” the link between climate change and bushfires. I wonder what he proposes to do with “deniers” like me.

    Of course climate change causes massive bush fires. Any idiot can see that climate change policies have turned our brush fires into a bonfires. Before they stopped people clearing, burning rubbish off and creating fire breaks, the only unmanageable fires were where people couldn’t do what was necessary to prevent them spreading out of control.

    Globull warming is a 100% responsible and those liars pushing it should be burnt at the stake!

  49. Colonel Crispin Berka

    ClimateEmergency protest in Sydney blaming the smoke on the Politicians who failed to stop CliiiimateChaaange which caused/amplified/stoked/embiggened/whatevs the bushfires.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/JohnBurfitt/status/1204673356919758850
    “Never thought I’d have to rally for my right to breathe” says one sign.

    Witch hunts had a more objective basis to them than this crazed mob.
    At least you can see someone you suspect a witch. Global temperature has still not risen above the level of background natural variability of the last 1000 years, man made or not.

  50. Mr Bunny

    I am confused. In my fire investigation training l was taught you need an ignition point to start a fire. Heat, fuel and oxygen alone won’t do it. But apparently climate change can start fires. Who would have thought.

  51. Colonel Crispin Berka

    Mr Bunny,
    Lightning from dry thunderstorms can do it. So if global warming increases frequency of those events, yeah maybe.
    You can also get hotspots in leaf litter in direct sunlight on very hot days which can spontaneously ignite. Volatile oils from eucalypts only need 60°C and they self-ignite apparently. So after an increase in the average, the temperature hits that max threshold more often.
    The relationship between global warming and fires is basically in the “rare but not impossible” category. It’s a bit absurd to be considering climate change when there’s a giant trumpeting Fuel Elephant in the room. Yes, we might deal with the mouse after we’ve dealt with the freakin’ elephant.
    .
    Deplorable
    Wow, interesting, and only 7 months before Black Saturday happened, although I note none of the suspected arsonists were of that particular diversity demographic. I can’t recall any case of j*hadis starting fires.

  52. classical_hero

    It’s amazing how it’s illegal to clear your own land and yet they blame climate change for things that are well within our control if we were allowed to protect ourselves. Right now governments are the biggest threat to our safety because they deny us the right to protect our property. Doing hazard reduction should be allowed but it’s not.

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