Fire crisis is normal: Abolish all energy subsidies

Now that the rains have arrived to turn 2019-20 into a perfectly normal year in Australia will all the alarmists at Fairfax, the ABC and the Guardian declare it so?  Not on your nelly – at least while their is a decent crisis it is there to be exploited.  Appologies only discredit the alarm that has been fomented with the opportunities this presents to support the agendas so profitable to the client.

I had in the Spectator perhaps the only measured and sensible energy proposal emerging from the crisis that you will read in any media.

It  begins

No amount of mouth-frothing by Piers Morgan or artful deception by the legions of renewable energy warriors published by the Australian Financial Review and the Guardian will change the facts about this summer.  The severe fire season is due to dry weather (not itself conceivably a result of climate change – rainfall trends have been flat for the past century) and the accumulation of combustible material on the forests’ floors. The build-up of combustible material is a result of the criminal neglect of the authorities to undertake or, in the case of private landto prevent cool burn-offs.  Less than one-third of the recommended hectares have been burned-off.’   

The policy proposal is to recognise the reality:  there is no significant human induced climate change and Australian “leadership” in abating is already evident – we’re doing, at the cost of the economy, twice as much in subsidising renewables than anyone else and have crippled the economy as a result. I conclude with a policy prescription

Removal of all subsidies will gradually allow the formerly low cost, reliable electricity and gas industries to mend themselves. It is a policy in the national interest and it should be incumbent on politicians not simply to fawningly follow the rhetoric of the green left economy-destroyers, but to set out to explain the importance of sound policies to all of us.

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156 Responses to Fire crisis is normal: Abolish all energy subsidies

  1. Another Ian

    “Now that the rains have arrived to turn 2019-20 into a perfectly normal year in Australia will all the alarmists at Fairfax, the ABC and the Guardian declare it so? Not on your nelly – at least while their is a decent crisis it is there to be exploited. Appologies only discredit the alarm that has been fomented with the opportunities this presents to support the agendas so profitable to the client.”

    So – more absolutely butt clenching stories from the “Puckering Posters”?

  2. jupes

    It is a policy in the national interest …

    The “national interest” is no longer a consideration for any political party at the minute.

  3. Ben

    Agree that subsidies need to be deleted.

    Additionally the ‘semi-scheduled generator’ category should also be deleted.

    But I can’t see prices coming down except where it is regulated down.

    There are so many areas of uneven rules eg AWEFS, ASEFS that send a MW set point to the wind and solar farms that is entirely dependent on weather. The wind and solar play no role in grid support, but they are only able to participate because of the large coal based grid.

  4. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    A decent reversal of current virtue-signaling policies will be some time coming still, Alan, but don’t give up Groundswell movements build imperceptibly till suddenly they are huge and break. Then suddenly everyone will be a non-believer in the terrible warming and full of I told you so all along, even if they didn’t. Keep the faith in science as it is no longer practiced, the science of hypothesis testing and empirical data unsmoothed. Things will come back.

  5. cohenite

    Goddamn:

    The severe fire season is due to dry weather (not itself conceivably a result of climate change – rainfall trends have been flat for the past century)

    Rainfall has not been flat, it has been increasing:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=rranom&area=aus&season=0112&ave_yr=T

    Droughts are declining:

    https://theconversation.com/500-years-of-drought-and-flood-trees-and-corals-reveal-australias-climate-history-51573

    The point is man mad climate change is a joke, a failed theory but even staunch opponents of the extremists who support alarmism still concede humans determine climate or at least play a major part.

    Humans do not and cannot control the climate. We can impact the environment but we can’t fucking influence the climate.

  6. billie

    the difficulty for sceptics is that the alarmists can “prove” climate change is dangerous and we cannot prove it is not dangerous. the climate has been verballed by masters of the game, that’s hard to walk back

    there is always the fallback position for them as well, that even if they are wrong, their hearts are pure and it’s good for the planet anyway to stop using fossil fuels

    it may be some time as Lizzie says, before the evidence is overwhelming that it’s not dangerous and that fiddling with the economy on behalf of it is

  7. Mark A

    The reversal is not coming and never truly will.
    There may be some crawl back to coal but don’t bet on it.

    When a travesty like cutting down forests in the US and shipping it to the UK to power electricity generators in the name of ‘Clean” energy can happen you have no hope.

    Good quality black coal with much better calorific value from OZ even though the shipping distance is greater, is a far better proposition.

    And in the unlikely event that new, efficient coal fired power stations will be built, if you think power prices will come down than head to the next bridge salesman, he has a few for sale.

  8. mareeS

    “I love a sunburnt country,
    A land of sweeping plains,
    Of rugged mountain ranges,
    Of droughts and flooding rains”

    All in a few weeks, God bless Dorothea MacKellar, every schoolchild used to be able to recite “My Country” by heart and understood it well. I am not particularly old, but precede the climate change generations.

  9. Farmer Gez

    Sorry folks but the rains were not widespread nor heavy in the inland parts that are in prolonged drought.
    The last twenty years has seen a higher incidence of back to back dry seasons. I live the reality not the statistics. CO2 driven drought is crap but long term dry cycles are a sad reality of the driest continent on earth.

  10. hzhousewife

    Sorry folks but the rains were not widespread nor heavy in the inland parts that are in prolonged drought.

    I agree, it is most unfortunate that Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast all got inundated over the last few days, which will lead the short visioned population and pollies to conclude that it’s all over folks.

  11. iggie

    ‘Sorry folks but the rains were not widespread nor heavy in the inland parts that are in prolonged drought.’

    In 1974 the rains were widespread – Australia’s wettest year on record (at least from 1900).
    Yet in 74/75, over 100 million hectares were burnt (around 4.5 million in NSW) due to good ground cover growth.
    And both were below average years temp-wise.
    You farmers just can’t win.
    Statistically, this has been Australia’s worst two year drought but 1900-1902 was the worst three year drought.
    From 1922-1938 there was only one year that had above average rainfall. In the past 20 years,
    Aus has had 13 years above average and seven years below average rainfall.

  12. 132andBush

    Good round-up by Paul Murray.
    Unfortunately drops into the “feel of things” when he mentions “you can’t have 7 billion people on the planet without doing something to it…”

    And just to note, that one point increase in the green vote represents a 12-13% increase. Truly frightening.

  13. Jonesy

    Go to full dispatchability. Bid on power 24 hrs out with stiff penalties on non delivery. The first day this is enacted and unreliable energy sources will disappear from the landscape. Remove energy certificates will result in at least a 30% drop in power prices. The next hardest thing to do is to stop the likes of AGL gaming the market by controlling enough coal fired stations to set the artificial baseload supply price. Engie was very effective with Hazelwood in keeping prices down by bidding a huge amount of energy at the bottom price…Engie forced out and prices nearlly doubled.

    So, two pieces of legislation and a new BROWN coal plant and high costs will be eliminated

  14. Bad Samaritan

    OK…my real-life experience 14th December 2019….

    Had been hiking in Kosciuszko and Alpine NPs for two weeks and arrived to camp /sleep at a hut at about 3PM…planning on boiling the billy inside the hut (as there was a total fire ban for the fire district : heard this on Snow FM). Most unexpectedly along came an NPWS Fire Patrol Ute (it was a Saturday) which had entered through a locked gate a few Ks along a fire trail….

    The two fellas were friendly…not wannabe coppers like so many “rangers” are; maybe they were contractors….and they started whipper-snipping around the hut, making the scrub and snow grass into a kind of very low lawn and removing what twigs etc were very near the hut (not much, obviously, since huts get relatively high visitor rates..and camp-fires; always near permanent creeks etc). anyhow they told me they were out for three days doing a number of huts…and that this was “asset protection” due to expected fires in the vicinity….

    When I pointed out the head-high scrub and the absolute piles of fallen timber as far as the eye could see under the snow gums and asked if they ere going to get burned, the answer with a wryful smile was “we haven’t got the resources for that”. it was clear that the guys were aware that it was a real “too little; too late” effort. And then off they went…About two weeks later flash fires took out Mt Selwyn ski resort; all the historic buildings at Kiandra, and a number of other, scattered huts.

    When cattle were grazed in the Oz Alps, there were two fuel reduction aspects. the first was the cattle and sheep eating the snow grass and young scrub before it became big scrub full of explosive oils. If you’ve ever been in a bush-fire up there it’s something impressive when the scrub explodes.…and the second aspect is that at the end of each grazing season (say late autumn; April May) the stockmen would do a yearly cold burn which then went across whatever scrub was left…and up under the Snow Gums or Alpine Ash etc and would remove almost the entire fuel load. the following late spring when they returned there’d be young fresh feed for the stock..and hardly any fuel under the trees.

    And of course, for hikers, and X-Country skiers in winter; no scrub! The NPWS heirarchy has not had a clue for at least 50 years, and has turned many NPs into cliche tinderboxes. The dead hand of govt at work…. with your taxes.

  15. Jonesy

    On the environmental side….the precautionary principle must be hung around every greenie like an African necklace. These koala killers have created this environmental disaster by locking up the bush with absolutely zero preventative input.

  16. Jonesy

    Bad Samaritan, my dad agrees with you. His family had leased a portion of state forest up the Rose River for grazing. This was about ten years after the 39 fires went through. He could gallop his horse anywhere through the bush. We were up there three years ago, the scrub was at least 4m high with thick loads of litter on the floor under that. You could not walk through it, it was that thick. The Abbyard fires may have got that block….will be interesting to see what destruction has been caused by this lot of fires.

  17. 132andBush

    Bad Samaritan,
    Which hut was that?

  18. Bad Samaritan/Jonesy

    Great comments and really valuable information. If only the political decision makers could be informed by such lived experience

  19. Fair shake of the sauce

    2 years ago, on a drive back from Adelaide, when there peninsular had fogged in for 4 weeks causing mould on the crops, I had the misfortune of listening to their ABC. Obviously the work experience kid was filling in as producer and he she it had secured on the line a professional mid-long term weather forecaster. Businesses subscribe to this forecasters services.
    The professional forecaster was very businesslike and factual. Their modelling relies on solar flares as the main driver of weather / climate. His business had a large number of business subscribers which inferred their services were reliable.
    Well you could feel the ABC interviewer getting uncomfortable and started to drive CO2 discussion. The forecaster responded that this input showed very little if any impact in their modelling. No CO2 affect on weather it was all about the solar flares.
    The ABC could not hang up fast enough. They didn’t take any calls and went straight to a story about a lovely gentleman who designs dresses. Then they took calls about dress design in the good ole days.

  20. And of course, for hikers, and X-Country skiers in winter; no scrub! The NPWS heirarchy has not had a clue for at least 50 years, and has turned many NPs into cliche tinderboxes. The dead hand of govt at work…. with your taxes.

    I’ve been going into our High Country for over 40 years (4WDriving) and can relate to that very well. On our trips, we get to cover a lot more terrain that most bushwalkers and it’s so clear that our bush has been left in the hands of idiots (state government).

    I remember the days back in the 70s/80s when you could walk through most parts of the bush with ease and especially along river banks. Now it impenetrable scrub with blackberry everywhere (though poisoning of the latter has had some effect). When you see the results of the latest fires and how clear the ground between the trees is, that’s not too far removed from what it was back then.

  21. classical_hero

    Climate change policy is the cause of the fire and their increased intensity. By doing nothing, rather than looking after the forests, the situation is bad and they just blame climate change instead of their inaction.

  22. sfw

    A couple of centuries ago, they blamed witches when bad things happened, they’re much smarter now, they blame ‘climate change’. You could burn witches but climate change requires the nation to be impoverished to fix a non existent problem.

    I always ask those I meet if they can explain to me how ;climate change’ actually does these things, what is the mechanism or process, I ask. Nobody can tell me, they have no idea of the underlying hypothesis that the slight CO2 increase will (supposedly) increase temperature which will increase water vapour which will further increase temps as the CO2 increase on its own will not be enough to drive large temp increases. It’s a failed hypothesis, utterly failed but few know that and fewer care.

  23. Bad Samaritan

    132andBush (7.11am) It’s kinda doubtful you’d know it……..

  24. I_am_not_a_robot

    Apropos Matt Kean, Campbell Newman on TV last night pointed out, and he would know, that the environment departments in the states are stacked with greenies.
    The responsible ministers hide behind their advisors who carry no responsibility, it turns into a ‘virtuous circle’ from their point of view.
    The same would be true at the commonwealth level.

  25. The lessons of history, she got that right.

  26. ABC news couple of nights back (Melb) they could not bring themselves to say one good thing about the rain. No it was not going to put out the fires, yes it was going to cause more damage. And course summer rain and thunder storms of the old fashion type, well that is climate change at work, as Albo say you can see it smell it and feel it. One thing he got right there, yes you can see it, smell it, and feel it, that is rain fall, you can for sure; but dear old Albo with a nodding dickhead Shorten beside was talking about CO2, Please explain how is that possible.

  27. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Delusion must be catching. Electricity networks do not “fix themselves”. We have an integrated east coast grid with substantial interdependency. We have virtually a full inventory of base load generators of a similar vintage, all starting to show signs of falling availability. We have limited intermediate load and peaking plant. We have a substantial amount of distributed generation in wind, PV farms and rooftops. It should also be noted that we have trebled the cost of domestic gas, supposedly on the basis of export pricing, causing fundamental damage to existing industry and severely hampering new investment.
    In recent months we have had one failure at the Queensland border interconnect that caused industrial load shedding on a substantial scale. In Victoria two Loy Yang units were out on some of the hottest days.
    I would add that the biggest power users – aluminium smelters – are currently lobbying in the open for even more subsidies. As if there were not already enough problems managing costs.

  28. Bad Samaritan

    Bemused (7.57am) Most 4WDers do not get to see the “closed” sections in NPs, unless they are members of, say, the KHA (google it). The “open” sections of NPs are quite often managed to some extent in that fallen trees across trails which the public is allowed to access are cleared pf fallen…or about-to-fall trees.

    A great example is the Cascades Trail from near Dead Horse gap (7 ks on the Alpine Way from Thredbo) to the Vic border north of Suggan Buggan (all in Kossy NP). From just past Cascades Hut there is a section signposted “Tree-fall danger. 6kms of dangerous trees. Do not camp; do not linger (or something similar)”. No 4WDer will see this…and if that road was open to vehicles those dangerous trees would’ve been removed 15 years ago. Walkers and mountain bikers however get to experience the stupidity and negligence of NPWS first-hand!

    I could go on; the closure of the Thiess Village fire trail for “rehabilitation” (naughty naughty trail!) so’s access to thousand of hectares of park is as difficult as they can make it. Likewise the Strumbo trail (scrub way above your head for ten kilometres) and so on.

    And, of course, don’t forget that the fire which hit Canberra in 2003 had been allowed to smoulder for weeks in an NSW NP before it kicked up….

    “The fires started from a lightning strike at McIntyre’s Hut in the Brindabella Ranges west of Canberra 10 days before the firestorm hit the capital.

    Fire fighting experts, local farmers, burnt-out Canberra residents, and even members of local NSW Rural Fire Service brigades questioned why the McIntyre’s Hut fire was allowed to burn in the mountains rather than being immediately attacked.

    They say the fires could have been extinguished then, rather than being left to ultimately burn into Canberra.

    When the firestorm hit Canberra on January 18, 2003, residents in suburbs like Duffy who were in the firing line of the blaze were given little or no warning of the danger.”

    Who wants to do anything? Those cups of coffee and bikkies in the office aren’t gonna drink and eat themselves, are they?

  29. Yes and when heat is on our Victorian Government goes and pays businesses to close and if they happen to have there own electricity generation they take that as well it into the grid, then stand back and say ‘how smart are we!’

  30. Jim of Wollombi

    It is still too early to put away the firefighting gear in many parts of Australia. The drought is not over. Rain has been patchy inland although heavier over the eastern mainland Capitals and Canberra so misleading some decision makers into thinking the worst is over. We still have a lot of hot weather to come before Autumn kicks in.

    However Alan Moran’s analysis of causes of bushfires is accurate if a little optimistic that the season has turned. Those of us who have lived with bushfires and those of us who have studied bushfires in Australia and elsewhere ( I have done both) are rightly sceptical about assigning any role to ‘climate change’ as a major factor in the 2019/20 Australian bushfire season. The fires are/were not unprecedented in terms of area burned, assets destroyed, livestock destroyed, native animals destroyed or human lives lost. Journalists don’t do their homework anymore; also some media proprietors have a specific ‘climate change view’ for approval or denial depending on the publication.

    Somewhere in the sensible middle ground lies a more accurate assessment of the causes of any fire season. The underlying factors have been well documented in the many inquiry reports. One of our worst disasters happened on …

    ‘The Black Friday bushfires of 13 January 1939, in Victoria, Australia, were among the worst natural bushfires (wildfires) in the world. Almost 20,000 km2 (4,942,000 acres, 2,000,000 ha) of land was burned, 71 people died, several towns were entirely obliterated and the Royal Commission that resulted from it led to major changes in forest management. Over 1,300 homes and 69 sawmills were burned, and 3,700 buildings were destroyed or damaged. It was calculated that three-quarters of the State of Victoria was directly or indirectly affected by the disaster. The Royal Commission noted that “it appeared the whole State was alight on Friday, 13 January 1939”.’ [Wiki]

    The 36 page Report of Royal Commissioner Stretton remains one of the clearest and most insightful bushfire inquiries into any Australian bushfire – and there have been many. Stretton found that .. ‘that virtually no measures had been taken for protection of life and property’... prior to the fire He was scathing in his criticism of the two government Departments with responsibility which they had both avoided for some years. The several ways to tackle and control the problem were set out clearly by Stretton. The general principles remain applicable today.

    It is therefore a matter of great regret that 80 years later there has occurred such a widespread bushfire disaster across Australia. It is the result of failure by state governments and state fire services to prevent bushfires. In NSW four major agencies provide fire services – the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS),
    the NSW Fire Brigades, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and State Forests of NSW.

    The NSW State government has budgeted to spend $ 617.3 mill in 2019/20 on the RFS alone. That is a lot of money for a pretty ordinary result in the current fire season. This is not to be critical of volunteer fire fighters. They are dedicated and very brave people who take great risks and some get killed or badly injured. It is the structure that is wrong. The NSW government uses volunteers in a firefighting model which does not always train them adequately, does not provision them properly when they are on the fire front (local charities provide food, the fireys themselves provide their own drinking water or solicit donations from water companies). The RFS supplies firefighting vehicles and fuel but no running budget for individual brigades. So RFS units are often seen raising funds to keep the poorly resourced State model working. Not good enough really.

  31. Meanwhile the Greens are outraged, how dare summer rains and thunderstorms interfere with our bush fire disasters. And meanwhile back at the ranch Russell Crowe puts up photos showing amazing transformation on his farm property post fire and then after good rain fall, go figure.

  32. Cui Bono

    Bad Samaritan – a sad case of govt bureacrats actually achieving what they set out to do: wiping European heritage from the national park. Pity about the environment. Now there’s even more heavy fuel for the next big fire.

  33. Apparently over 4000 volunteer fire fighters from the CFA are now ex-volunteer fire fighters having left after Dan Andrews did all his special favours to the UFU mates and rail roaded the CFA.

  34. Bemused (7.57am) Most 4WDers do not get to see the “closed” sections in NPs, unless they are members of, say, the KHA (google it). The “open” sections of NPs are quite often managed to some extent in that fallen trees across trails which the public is allowed to access are cleared pf fallen…or about-to-fall trees.

    That’s true nowadays, but I go back to the early 70s before many of the areas were closed off or were even national parks. NSW has perhaps been closed off for a much longer time and more of it, which is why so many 4WDrivers from NSW come over to Vic to do their camping and 4WDriving. I’ve gotten a lot of hut info from the KHA site, though there are gaps.

    I also used to do bushwalking in the High Country and cross-country skiing from Hotham between the 70s and 80s, so did get to see many huts that simply didn’t have any 4WD tracks. Vallejo Gantner hut was probably the most impressive of the huts. I haven’t visited any of the huts in NSW, Mt Pinnibar or Ton Groggin is the closest I’ve been to NSW.

  35. stevem

    I think the kowtowing to the “Green” movement has gone too far for any government to do a U-turn, they need to be somewhat sneakier than that.

    Putting money back into back burning, reopening fire trails and overall proper management could be done by branding as a way not of preventing climate change, but in combating the effects. Making sure to appoint “deniers” into positions responsible for implementing the actions could make it happen.

    Good PR for government, good results for the rest of us.

  36. Mother Lode

    You realise that when you talk about energy subsidies, then in the minds of greens microscopic relays click, tiny little vacuum tubes heat up, and arcs of electricity crawl up between parallel synapses – at the end of which with crackling voices and smoke drifting out of their ears they say “Mining. Diesel subsidies. Mining. Diesel subsidies. Mining. Diesel subsidies.”

    Because a rebate on a tax for which you were not liable is a subsidy.

    Just like tax returns.

  37. calli

    Jim of Wollombi, I asked my son in law, who volunteers at a local Sydney brigade, if the unit needed any more equipment or money for anything. His answer was “no”, they had plenty.

    What they need is young men to volunteer.

    This may not be the same State-wide,of course. The photos of “Dad’s Army” on the South Coast reinforced the fact that many of the volunteers are well past their prime.

  38. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    This may not be the same State-wide,of course. The photos of “Dad’s Army” on the South Coast reinforced the fact that many of the volunteers are well past their prime.

    I’m in Western Australia – the average age of my local brigade is over 60.

  39. RobK

    Thanks Alan. A good effort but I doubt that any polly or public servant will be held criminally liable. They will always claim to have made the best endeavours. Still, the points you make need to be driven long and hard in order to produce significant push back to the lunacy.

  40. Entropy

    Mother Lode
    #3297947, posted on January 21, 2020 at 9:45 am
    You realise that when you talk about energy subsidies, then in the minds of greens microscopic relays click, tiny little vacuum tubes heat up, and arcs of electricity crawl up between parallel synapses – at the end of which with crackling voices and smoke drifting out of their ears they say “Mining. Diesel subsidies. Mining. Diesel subsidies. Mining. Diesel subsidies.”

    Because a rebate on a tax for which you were not liable is a subsidy.

    Just like tax returns.

    a politician with a spine would change the name of the fuel excise back to “road user excise” or similar. But then their revenue raising would be exposed, I suppose.

  41. stackja

    Canberra hailstorm damages valuable research as record number of emergency calls lodged

    ABC Radio Canberra By Niki Burnside
    Updated about an hour ago

    Chief operating officer Judi Zielke said the storm damaged about 65 of their glasshouses, destroying years of research.

    “Those 65 glasshouses of course held a lot of research and we’re really feeling for our scientists at the moment that are so dedicated to their work and have spent years working on some of the projects in there.

    “Unfortunately, most of those projects will be totally lost.”

    So CSIRO living in glass houses and being thrown hailstones.

  42. Mark M

    Canberra hailstorm damages valuable research as record number of emergency calls lodged

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-21/years-of-scientific-research-lost-in-canberra-hailstorm/11884062

    Funny business how you never get a hailstorm inside a green house, but on the outside where there is a greenhouse effect, preventable only taxing people …

    2011; Carbon tax hit small: CSIRO

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/carbon-tax-hit-small-csiro-20111112-1ncvq.html

  43. I’m just waiting to see how many solar panels have been destroyed by the hail storm. Is that what they mean by ‘ruinable’ energy?

  44. Siltstone

    Mother Lode
    #3297947, posted on January 21, 2020 at 9:45 am
    You realise that when you talk about energy subsidies, then in the minds of greens microscopic relays click, tiny little vacuum tubes heat up, and arcs of electricity crawl up between parallel synapses – at the end of which with crackling voices and smoke drifting out of their ears they say “Mining. Diesel subsidies. Mining. Diesel subsidies. Mining. Diesel subsidies.”

    Along with all the other woke things they say, BHP and other woke mining companies say “There should be a price on carbon…” (quote from BHP’s “Our Position on Climate Change”). They want you to pay more for your energy. They are almost inviting Government to abolish the diesel excise rebate. Unlike the days of the anti-mining tax campaign, it is now doubtful the general public would come out and support hypocrites like BHP if the Government granted them their price on carbon wish.

  45. calli

    Zulu, that’s my understanding too.

    I wonder how many of the rent-a-crowd males at the various protests would care to volunteer to actually make a difference? Those protests seem to be full of wymmynses with a few satellite fellas, presumably hoping to get some action after the event.

    They need to be told that a man in sooty, torn and stained firey overalls is remarkably attractive to the right type of girl. 😄

  46. Those protests seem to be full of wymmynses with a few satellite fellas, presumably hoping to get some action after the event.

    Lots and lots of forlorn hope, given that the beta male has now transitioned in what they call a SIMP.

  47. cuckoo

    Had to laugh at Nein News, doing a live cross from Fed Square in Melbourne during last week’s perfectly normal summer storm which supposedly “shut down” the centre of the city, while in the background of the shot Melbournians were clearly visible, going about their normal business. It’s like that time the female newsie in the US was floating in a canoe to report a flood story, while citizens walked into the shot behind her, wading in the calf-deep water.

  48. RacerX

    “Mining. Diesel subsidies. Mining. Diesel subsidies. Mining. Diesel subsidies.”

    Yep, and available to the renewable energy under the same terms it is for every industry. Somehow it turns into a subsidy for non-preferred industries.

  49. Rayvic

    Good policy proposal, Alan.

    Sadly, the pollies are unlikely to accept it while being allowed to get away with using ‘climate change’ as the cause of recent severe bushfires.

  50. Nob

    Siltstone
    #3298017, posted on January 21, 2020 at 11:23 am
    Mother Lode
    #3297947, posted on January 21, 2020 at 9:45 am
    You realise that when you talk about energy subsidies, then in the minds of greens microscopic relays click, tiny little vacuum tubes heat up, and arcs of electricity crawl up between parallel synapses – at the end of which with crackling voices and smoke drifting out of their ears they say “Mining. Diesel subsidies. Mining. Diesel subsidies. Mining. Diesel subsidies.”

    Along with all the other woke things they say, BHP and other woke mining companies say “There should be a price on carbon…”

    The bigger oil companies will say that too, because they’ve bought into it. They are among the biggest funders of “renewables”.
    Not necessarily because Wokesters, but because the law compels them to buy and trade RET etc certs and other indulgences in many countries. So they want everyone else to do it too. And , I might have mentioned before, it’s damn hard to track where all that RET money ends up.

  51. Bad Samaritan

    Linden (8.59am) and others…..

    I heard and read that about 3000 NSW volunteer RFS members were out in the thick of it during the fires. Meanwhile, from wiki entry on the NSW RFS…….

    ‘The NSW RFS is the world’s largest volunteer fire service, with 72,491 volunteer members, although this figure includes many inactive volunteer firefighters and all support volunteers. They are organised into 2,002 brigades (local units). As of 30 June 2018, the service employed 911 paid staff who fulfill senior operational management and administrative roles.

    3000 heroes on the front line….2002 brigades = how many trucks? Only 3000 out of 72,000? 900+ getting paid to sit on their backsides while the 3000 are out in harm’s way doing it for free?

    Any of this looking ‘correct’ in any respect?

  52. Roger

    Had to laugh at Nein News…

    On the serious side…

    What are the media’s lies and ill founded exaggerations doing to the more mentally and emotionally vulnerable in the community?

    How many Greta’s are in the making?

    Or perhaps that’s the goal?

  53. 132andBush

    Bad Samaritan
    #3297904, posted on January 21, 2020 at 8:06 am

    132andBush (7.11am) It’s kinda doubtful you’d know it……

    Fair enough.
    Agree 100% on your take.
    I linked yesterday to an ABC report re how surprised the NPWS was at how severe the fires have been in KNP.
    If that’s the case then the people in charge need to be booted, anyone who’s navigated those forests could see how massive the fuel load is (was).

  54. It’s like that time the female newsie in the US was floating in a canoe to report a flood story, while citizens walked into the shot behind her, wading in the calf-deep water.

    Like this?

  55. Archivist

    The build-up of combustible material is a result of the criminal neglect of the authorities to undertake or, in the case of private land, to prevent cool burn-offs. Less than one-third of the recommended hectares have been burned-off.’

    “recommended hectares” for burn-off. It’s absurd. Let’s take this issue to the next level.
    If you have to “burn it off” every few years, why keep it as forest at all? Burn-off policy is a fig-leaf for the myth of maintaining natural forests.
    Burn-off is a second rate solution compared to clearing, grazing, and cultivating. Not all forests – but those near human settlements.

  56. Roger

    Less than one-third of the recommended hectares have been burned-off.

    NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons claims the RFS is achieveing 90% of its hazard reduction burns.

    In 2018/19 that was c. 200 000 ha.

    Putting that into perspective, the NSW bushfires have so far consumed 4, 900 000 ha.

    As Peter O’Brien put it at Quadrant online, no wonder the Commissioner has a low regard for the effectiveness of hazard reduction burns…he hasn’t actually tried it yet!

    There’s a lot of fuel on the ground for the RC too.

  57. Bad Samaritan

    Archivist (12.43pm). In state forests it’s the mature trees which are valuable, so it does make sense to burn the ground-level stuff before it can build up enough to destroy those trees. Grazing, however is better, though the question of the ash from burnoffs being a good more-evenly distributed fertilizer is also in play.

    For NPs the big issue is the protection of buildings and people inside and outside the parks, since the primary reason for NPs should be recreation = facilities need protecting. Grazing is definitely best but then thereare plenty of counter-arguments. The cattle and sheep were removed from the high country in NSW to protect the Snowy Scheme from erosion and run-off. Not reolved is how this stacks up against letting the aground get so scorched that it runs off even worse after heavy rain….

    2003: The fires devastated parts of the national capital, Canberra, and almost all the Cotter catchment, a normally pristine source in its upper catchment for ACT drinking water. Intense, local thunderstorms following the fires, estimated to be a 1 in 400 year event, moved large sediment loads from steep, denuded slopes into the supply reservoirs, Corin, Bendora and Cotter dams. Bushfires in Melbourne’s water supply catchments in 1939 produced large decreases in yield that persisted for 50 years as mountain ash forests regrew.
    Etc..

    Nature Reserves and what have you are is the better option if recreation is “valued” below the fauna and flora angle…and yes…they can burn baby burn, so long as this bothers the critters and plants only!

  58. Farmer Gez

    I remember a slow Sunday morning after a BIG night out in Melbourne during the 80’s and it was pissing down. Three inches of rain over a few hours and no one claimed the world was ending.

  59. In the Victoristan High Country, the cattle were banned because of a perception that they destroyed certain bogs. The irony of this is that when certain ministers and media went to look at these sacred bogs, they drove all over them in 4WDs leaving wheel tracks everywhere.

    Most of the cattle actually roam away from these areas and there are a few places where they can still roam, such as Nunniong Plains which, by the way, has a similar ‘bog’ environment following heavy rains, and surprisingly do no perceivable damage whatsoever.

    I’ve been to these plains many times, camped their in summer and winter and the biggest threat are wild horse, deer and goats. Every time that we camped there, we see plenty of horses and deer.

  60. cuckoo

    And who is that clown who is the new “Liberal” leader in Tasmania?
    1. It’s basically one big national park
    2. It gets all (?) its power from hydro
    3. It has no industry to speak of, hell, no population to speak of

    And this clown says Tasmania “must do more” to combat climate change. FFS.

  61. And this clown says Tasmania “must do more” to combat climate change.

    That’s Leftist speak for we need more Federal government money.

  62. Farmer Gez

    The best way to thin the bush out is with a chainsaw. Put the loggers back in and put the matches away.

  63. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Samartian: The problem with clearing in forests is that it makes the ground drier, which makes fires more intense. It’s generally better to avoid having anything exposed to forest fires, which of course isn’t popular. In any case, no one wants to pay for the solutions no matter which solutions you suggest.

  64. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    And this clown says Tasmania “must do more” to combat climate change. FFS.

    plenty that can be done. virgins… volcanoes…. go!

  65. John A

    Apologies only discredit the alarm that has been fomented

    We demand apologies!

    Such alarm needs to be discredited – vigorously and publicly.

  66. Bronson

    Agreed Roger the Rfs does 3/5 of 5/8 bugger all fuel reduction burns in NSW and the good commisioner knows that. They are not the managers of crown land and do nothing in NP or State Forests. They dont have the mandate or the qualified workforce to achieve anything near the fuel, reduction required to make a difference.

  67. The BigBlueCat

    I would add that the biggest power users – aluminium smelters – are currently lobbying in the open for even more subsidies. As if there were not already enough problems managing costs.

    Probably rightly so, Old Man. When the smelters were built, they relied on baseload power from coal and hydro, and not electrons from renewable sources that could not support their power requirements anyway.

    We’ve seen Alcoa close one smelter in Victoria because they cannot compete on price on the world market. Electricity makes up about 30% of the Cost of Aluminium Produced – probably more now that renewables are in the price mix. But Alcoa had an agreement with the then SECV that the power price would be linked to aluminium prices on the London Metals Exchange in order to remain competitive – that was 40 years ago! Once that agreement ran out, energy costs went skyrocketing.

    But in pure CO2 terms, closing smelters here effectively transfers our CO2 to another place, with the exception that the power not used by aluminium producers is taken up by households. Total aluminium production worldwide is increasing, courtesy of increased production in (surprise surprise) China, where we also see a massive uptick in coal-powered electricity generation. With car manufacturing also having left our shores, plus little manufacturing for consumer goods, as consumers we are doing our bit (according to the activists) by lowering or CO2 emissions from manufacturing. But using more of that power now unused by manufacturing to power our devices, air conditioning units, heaters, electric vehicles, flat-screen TV’s, iPads, iPhones, etc ad infinitum. As we should – immigration and birth rates has seen a massive increase in population. Aren’t we the lucky country! (or should that be “Aren’t we the lucky country?”?)

    Of course, CO2 doesn’t cause bushfires – fuel, ignition and weather conditions do (weather conditions being naturally cyclical). I get tired of the wankers claiming we need to reduce our CO2 because “bushfires are proof” – they know nothing or care nothing of climate systems, seasonality, economics and the benefits of being in an advanced society. They are pure-and-simple economic wreckers (or wannabees), who have no idea of the global consequences of a total and absolute transition to renewables. All they think of is themselves and the centralised power they desire. They do not want aspirational nations accessing cheap energy in order for them to advance also.

  68. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    BlueCat: I think you will find that the State Audit commissioned by Jeff Kennett reported that the Portland smelter had been subsidised for its life to that point and its contract balance would cost taxpayers some billions of dollars. When the contract ran out they somehow got a new subsidy of $200m a year.
    So if we cut the subsidy there’s $200m a year that can go back to cost reduction across the system.

  69. The BigBlueCat

    mareeS
    #3297848, posted on January 21, 2020 at 1:57 am
    “I love a sunburnt country,
    A land of sweeping plains,
    Of rugged mountain ranges,
    Of droughts and flooding rains”

    All in a few weeks, God bless Dorothea MacKellar, every schoolchild used to be able to recite “My Country” by heart and understood it well. I am not particularly old, but precede the climate change generations.

    You should have quoted the rest of that stanza, which from memory goes like”

    “I love her far horizons
    I love her jewel seas
    Her beauty and her terror
    The wide brown land for me.”

    And after checking I got that right, there’s another stanza:

    “Core of my heart, my country!
    Land of the Rainbow Gold,
    For flood and fire and famine,
    She pays us back threefold –
    Over the thirsty paddocks,
    Watch, after many days,
    The filmy veil of greenness
    That thickens as we gaze”

    Fire, flood, drought, famine, feast – all a part of our natural cycles, well recognised by Dorothy McKellar when she wrote this, and equally true today. As others have said, we are no-where near the worst of our weather conditions – here we are in mid-summer in Melbourne, suffering cold and rain!

  70. Atoms for Peace

    What would the weather porn channels report on if we weren’t in a state of continual climate crisis?

  71. The BigBlueCat

    Elderly White Man From Skipton

    #3298204, posted on January 21, 2020 at 3:49 pm
    BlueCat: I think you will find that the State Audit commissioned by Jeff Kennett reported that the Portland smelter had been subsidised for its life to that point and its contract balance would cost taxpayers some billions of dollars. When the contract ran out they somehow got a new subsidy of $200m a year.
    So if we cut the subsidy there’s $200m a year that can go back to cost reduction across the system.

    I’m not generally in favour of subsidies, Old Man. But my comments go to the point that Australia’s energy costs at the time were high enough, and the state could come to the party in terms of job creating and downstream manufacturing opporunities or not. Always easy in hindsight to criticise the outcomes, but who really knew that the energy costs would sky-rocket, or that the metals price index would tank.

    But thinking about the $200m per year, how much in land taxes, local government rates, other economic impacts in the local and wider communities, etc does that $200m get? It’s easy to look at the primary numbers, but the indirect benefits of a venture of this kind to the state of Victoria are considerable and should not be easily discounted. The Point Henry smelter had annual benefits to the economy exceeding $100m … but no-one talks about that.

    State governments are right to attract investments by offering adequate subsidies if the wider benefits are there – what they give out on one side they get in via other means, or otherwise can avoid spending for other community benefits (sporting club sponsorships and other philanthropic donations made by companies like Alcoa and Ford come to mind – Geelong and Portland have both significantly benefited from Alcoa’s largesse. Much easier getting that sort of stuff from a community-minded corporate like Alcoa than it is some local or state government).

  72. The BigBlueCat

    And by the way, Old Man, the subsidies tot he Portland smelter were agreed to by the Socialist Cain government ….

  73. Boambee John

    EWMFS

    The problem with clearing in forests is that it makes the ground drier, which makes fires more intense

    Not if there is no fuel on the dry ground to burn.

  74. Gowest

    Now that the rains have arrived to turn 2019-20 into a perfectly normal year in Australia – you think??

    This is only a respite! Summer is far from over, the fire fuel will dry out and catch fire again. For christ sakes get the loggers and bulldozers into action now while there is a lull. This is war! – the only thing to stop a fire attack is a good defence you fools.
    Bulldoze lanes through our national parks and make tracks that our fire fighters can use safely. The time to get it done is now! – don’t wait for our leaders, they have demonstrated for 50 years that they will do anything to avoid fixing the problem.

  75. The only war going on is between the believers and the deniers. Now if the deniers were eliminated, climate change would cease instantly.

  76. sfw

    I live in an area impacted by the recent Vic fires (they may yet come back, unlikely but possible) anyway our area was one of those declared disaster areas. It was very unpleasant due to heavy smoke and many people left for cleaner air, anyway DHS turned up today and started giving out cash cards worth $500+ to those who left (evacuated?) the valley. There were no fires here just heavy smoke and most of the stronger men and some women stayed to protect property if the worst happened. So every man and his dog is lining up to collect the $500 no matter if they stayed or left. No questions asked just ID. I’m not against helping people in need but this is just splashing money around. I guess it will buy a few votes next election.

  77. Heard a couple of snippets on 3AW this morning, re CFA volunteers fighting the fires while the paid professionals, Dan the man Andrews UFU mates standing there with video camera just filming away and not lifting a finger to do anything useful in fighting fires. Other reports of the professionals from Dan’s reorganisation of the CFA not willing to bunk in with the CFA blokes but demanded their own private quarters. I personally spoke to one CFA captain I’ve know for a long time back in September circa last year and asked how it was going since the shake up, he was very dejected and indicated that he had enough. I think we will hear a lot about this in the near future. Mitchell asked on 3AW what did the CFA need, one called in and said ‘Just ‘respect’. One other from NSW said they had plenty of gear just lacked personal, and I think that will surface too, how much are the volunteers being asked to do? So much owed by so many to so few? they could trot that out again.

  78. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Blue Cat: I think you might need to look back at the history. The controversy at the time – before the project actually began – was over the subsidy. Treasury resisted because the pricing used by Digby Crozier (State Dev Minister) was a discount on the then current prices and the Portland demand had to be filled by new plant (Loy Yang). The point is that they knew it was a subsidy from the start. As I recall SECV got Hamer into big trouble just before the election with a 20% price hike.

  79. Hmm. Clearing makes fires more intense.

    So it’s illegal.

    Which is why after the fires the property owners copping six figure fines are the ones with their houses still standing.

  80. A reprint from previous:

    During the next winter clearing period, I expect a groundswell of support for persons who live in high fuel load areas to take their safety into their own hands.
    Those persons will alert the local Fire Brigade, Police, and other essential services, and set fires in the high fueled areas in conjunction with other cells of arsonists in neighboring districts.
    It has become increasingly obvious that the responsible authorities refuse to carry out their statutory duties and this refusal has caused many deaths among the civil population, as well as destruction of many billions of dollars worth of property and livestock.
    Of course, if the people refuse to attend to their own safety, then they deserve what they get.

  81. From a farmer in the fire stricken area.
    “I have had two major fires encroach onto property from. Both these were started by dry lighting strikes.We stopped both of them and rain over the last week has put them out.

    “How did we stop them? First by a long standing autumn/winter program of controlled burns over selected parts of the property every year except 2016 (too wet) and 2018 (too dry). Through the never ending process of bulldozing fallen timber and lighting it up. Through the help of volunteers and neighbours (some over 70) who worked through the night to contain the fire. Through disregarding the commands of the useless NSW Fire bureaucracy not to back burn (can you believe that?). Through grazing cattle over the years through the under scrub to clean it up.

    “I learnt that a bulldozer is worth 20 water bombing helicopters and that it is very important to have any form of vehicle that can carry a water tank to put out flying embers. There has been no damage to my property on no loss of livestock.”

  82. stackja

    Alan – Great story. Now need to get Greens out of bureaucracies.

  83. stackja:

    Alan – Great story. Now need to get Greens out of bureaucracies.

    You can’t – that’s their preferred breeding and feeding ground.
    Even if the Green is a twenty kilo parasite and the host is a 50 kilo, emaciated and sick host, the parasite will leave only when the host dies.
    Sorry, but that’s just the way it is.
    The only way to deal with this problem is by removing the parasite class – the bureaucracy – and as struth has so eloquently made the argument, take the vote from the females so they cannot turn the social system into a cradle to grave surrogate husband.
    Once we return to a social structure that is sustainable, the parasite (bureaucrat) class will reduce of its accord.

  84. stackja

    Winston Smith
    #3298437, posted on January 21, 2020 at 7:25 pm … take the vote from the females…

    Most women I know are more sensible. How about a questionnaire?

  85. Last winter the snow resorts both in Vic and NSW had record long snow ski seasons, running from mid May to mid October; yet the Vic government says the season are getting shorter? go figure, and it was a very long cold winter last year.

  86. stackja

    Judi Zielke is Chief Operating Officer at CSIRO and heads its Operations Group responsible for finance, property, governance and corporate affairs. Judi has had extensive experience in the public sector, encompassing a range of policy advice and implementation positions in the Australian Government in areas of Trade, Attorney General’s, Industry and Innovation, and Infrastructure. She is also a Member of the Board of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority.

    And doesn’t know hail breaks glasshouses?

  87. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Frank: the ground cover is what retains moisture and helps avoid fires. Except when we get a long dry and extreme temps. If you take the ground cover you promote the dry. It’s just another reason why this stuff has no simple answers. One of the people who took matters in his own hands at Araluen set off the fire than ran up behind Nowra and below Kangaroo Valley to Mittagong. I think you’ll be able to follow that case in the local paper. Last I heard he was in jail.

  88. If you take the ground cover you promote the dry.

    Have you ever seen a desert burn?

    One of the people who took matters in his own hands at Araluen set off the fire than ran up behind Nowra and below Kangaroo Valley to Mittagong. I think you’ll be able to follow that case in the local paper. Last I heard he was in jail.

    Um, this is why you burn off in autumn, winter and early spring…which means you get rid of ground cover you clown. The silly old fool should have…mechanically cleared his land months in advance.

    White Trash has basically declared that ALL hazard reduction is bad to wit “If you take the ground cover you promote the dry”.

    So why are the Greens backpedaling HARD on that issue, you loathsome numpty?

  89. It’s just another reason why this stuff has no simple answers.

    No no.

    It’s because you’re wrong.

    Allowing people to clear half a milt from their dwellings and asset managers to clear 200 metres from a structure or machinery would prevent virtually all risk to human life and economic loss from large bushfires fires.

  90. Frank:
    EWMFS is another contrarian in the same mould as numbers and Dan.

  91. Squirrel

    From PwC, very recently –

    https://www.pwc.com.au/ceo-agenda/ceo-survey/how-australias-ceos-react-to-climate-change.html

    “However, CEOs around the world have contrasting views on whether or not climate change initiatives present opportunities for new products or services.

    Many CEOs from the world’s largest economies strongly agree that climate change initiatives will lead to significant new product and service opportunities for their organisations. There is a growing consensus on this among CEOs in China, India, US, Brazil, Italy, Japan and Germany.

    However, Australia, alongside the UK and Canada, is going backward. In 2010, 20% of local CEOs strongly agreed there were new product and service opportunities but this has since reduced to 17%. ”

    The stats are probably not all that significant, but perhaps it signifies that our CEOs have worked out that without a lot of extra market-rigging the scope for fleecing Australian consumers is limited – and that the big bucks will go to o/s companies which produce the stuff that Australia’s world-class(……) consumers will just have to have to do their bit for the climate.

  92. Old School Conservative

    Perhaps a little light on the horizon:

    Declaring hazard reduction was just as important as carbon emissions reduction, and possibly even more so, the Prime Minister was critical of the fact Australia had clear rules and transparency arrangements for reporting on its emissions but not on mitigation measures.

    He singled out land clearing laws, management of native vegetation and national parks and hazard reduction. (The Australian)

  93. If the world doesn’t go to shit in the next hundred years, or the coronavirus doesn’t wipe out 90% of mankind in the next five, then we could be ripping out the eucalypts by the square mile, woodchipping the fuckers and replanting the space with exotic trees like mahogany, cyprus, oak, etc.
    The only thing stopping that from happening?
    Yep. Governments.
    No one will touch a long term project in Australia because of sovereign risk.
    I personally cannot think of a better gift to leave Australia 2100 than a thousand square kilometers of mature, harvestable, lumber.

  94. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Frank: we are so lucky to have your expertise.
    Much as I beg to differ, it is in fact a lie to say I declared all hazard reduction to be wrong. What I said is that clearing is not of itself an answer in all cases because in most cases ground cover retains moisture.
    I am not aware of anyone who says that clearing around homes is not essential to the security of homes in fires.
    The issue you seem to fail to get is that in general terms Mallacoota (for example) or Lake Conjola do not fit your thesis.

  95. Siltstone

    If you take the ground cover you promote the dry.

    Promote the “dry” of what? Soil? Soil does not burn. Leaf litter, twigs, bark, fallen branches, shrubs, saplings – these are what burn quickly and spread fires quickly. The small stuff really gets it going fast, as anyone who wished they had more kindling for the pot-belly stove can tell you. Double the fuel load, quadruple the fire intensity. Close tracks, put locks on gates, stop regular hazard reduction burning, get rid of people who have equipment, manpower and an interest in protecting the timber (foresters and loggers) and you have the exact recipe for what the east coast has seen recently. Western Australia is, so far, cleverer, but that can change quickly. 57 public inquiries since 1939, and still those in charge of the management of public lands can’t get their act together. And they are State managers, not Commonwealth.

  96. Nob

    Elderly White Man From Skipton
    #3298550, posted on January 21, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    I am not aware of anyone who says that clearing around homes is not essential to the security of homes in fires.

    Numerous prosecutions , fines and warnings show that environmental rules and laws take precedence over the security of homes in fires.

    Things don’t have to be perfect, just better.
    A lot better.

  97. Oh okay, please show how the simple 200 and 800 m clearing rules I have proposed above wouldn’t have worked, White Trash.

  98. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Frank: I think you define the Internet of Beef

  99. You’re totally wrong, White Trash.

    A 200 m clear felling allowance from assets and 800 metres from dwellings would make the arguments over fuel loads, climate and the efficacy of water bombers irrelevant.

    We’d barely even need the RFS.

    Deserts don’t burn down.

  100. It’s because you’re wrong.

    Allowing people to clear half a milt from their dwellings and asset managers to clear 200 metres from a structure or machinery would prevent virtually all risk to human life and economic loss from large bushfires fires.

    Hear, hear!

    And firebreaks definitely work in the coastal scrub around Mallacoota. History shows this.
    The only thing that needs to be expanded is the firebreak distance. With heavy timber, a half mile may be inadequate. (so make it a mile or two) It depends on the timber and the geography.

  101. Tel

    Again … anyone who believes that fuel reduction doesn’t work is welcome to take on the bet: if the same areas where a fierce fire burned through this Summer also burn next Summer then I promise to STFU and admit this is all Global Warming … but if hardly anything burns next Summer, and not the same areas then you must STFU and admit that fuel is the key.

    This is a scientific empirical test … only a science denier would refuse to take this up.

  102. Nice Tel.

    Repeatability to test the accuracy of a claim.

  103. cohenite

    I am not aware of anyone who says that clearing around homes is not essential to the security of homes in fires.

    Martin Tebbutt
    Sheahans
    John McVean
    Michael Vincent Baker
    Sam Scriven

    All farmers who were stopped from fire-breaking or fined for doing so.

    Fuck off.

  104. Nob

    And that’s only the visible tip of the disaster .

    You only have to punish one person to put everyone else off from even trying.

  105. Well, sorry Alan Moran, I can’t quite agree that 2019/2020 can be classed as “a perfectly normal year” even if the rains have returned. I have a farm in the NSW Central Tablelands & I can’t say that, following several years of horrific drought, and now a severe bushfire threat, that this is accurately described as perfectly normal.

    I am not a disciple of the Climate Theory of Global warming caused by CO2 emissions, and I am well aware that the drought and subsequent bush fires of 1895-1903 (as well as similar, if less severe events in other years) generated similar catastrophic episodes. But it is perverse (and insensitive) to downplay the severity of these recent weather (& possibly climatic) events.

    For me, one of the most alarming manifestations of the Big Dry is the pervasive “Dieback” of eucalypts and other species in the forests and open bushland in NSW. This is not confined to just a few trees or specific districts. In the last few weeks especially (probably exacerbated by the week of 40 + temperatures) masses of trees, many centuries old (as well as the usual saplings), are dying around us. You can literally see for kilometres into bushland that was previously difficult to penetrate.

    So, although I don’t like the Alarmism that infects all branches of the media these days, I think we need to acknowledge that this is a quite severe period (though admittedly not unprecedented) of drought. And quite obviously, such conditions are conducive to catastrophic fire events, especially when hazard reduction has not been diligent enough due to Green politics.

  106. This is only a respite! Summer is far from over, the fire fuel will dry out and catch fire again.

    You’re not wrong – lightning from the big storm the day before yesterday ignited another fire in the national park a few km from us. It is terrifying to wait for the NPWS to respond effectively. They waited too long in the Gosper Mt case – & the rest is history!

  107. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Frank et al: I imagine you think this is a blinding insight. Suggest you travel to rural and regional areas and take note: people clear land back from houses etc. Quite likely have been doing so for a few generations. This is not what people do in villages and towns.
    However, I suspect the point you are making is that “someone” should force everyone clear from every house and building in the manner you describe.
    Now I can show you property as Bilpin and at Lake Conjola and near Eden where that clearance existed and yet the houses are no more.
    These fires were spotting from near Sussex Inlet over to the west side of Jervis Bay.
    Not that I’m trying to offer facts and stuff since you are bent on making an argument for having a small standing army of bulldozer drivers.

  108. a perfectly normal year in Australia

    That’s the problem though, isn’t it? We are right in the middle of the La Nina/El Nino cycle, yet we had multiple climate-related natural disasters causing many billions of dollars in insurance claims. The Canberra hailstorm came only two years since the last one in Sydney which caused $800M in damage. Black Saturday cost $4.4B, no doubt the cost of this summer’s fires will be in the same ball park. All that economic value lost, insurance rates go up putting a drag on the economy, and we all get poorer.

    As these natural disasters start happening more frequently – which is the number one predicted effect of climate change, let us not forget – the denialists have less and less credibility on the subject.

    If this is the new normal, you lot were dead wrong and should not be listened to at all in future.

  109. A 200 m clear felling allowance from assets and 800 metres from dwellings would make the arguments over fuel loads, climate and the efficacy of water bombers irrelevant.

    We’d barely even need the RFS.

    Deserts don’t burn down.

    Dot, for an apparently intelligent man, sometimes you say the stupidest things.

  110. If the world doesn’t go to shit in the next hundred years, or the coronavirus doesn’t wipe out 90% of mankind in the next five, then we could be ripping out the eucalypts by the square mile, woodchipping the fuckers and replanting the space with exotic trees like mahogany, cyprus, oak, etc.
    The only thing stopping that from happening?
    Yep. Governments.

    What is this obsession some of you lot have with clearing the land of natives and planting Euro trees? It is deeply weird, not to mention it won’t solve the problem at hand.

  111. Rafe Champion

    Monty the “increasing frequency of extreme weather events” is the most empirically refuted proposition in the climate debate, on a par with the disappearing polar bears. Look at the charts in the background to the Johnny Cash rendition of Dan Prawn.

  112. On the RN interview this morning with an Insurance Professional, he was entirely unfazed by the current crop of events, explaining that on the whole they were factored in and the actuaries were not at all upset about paying out all the claims. Not only that they were already working in the next ten to twenty years, and had taken into account the climate projections from all sources
    I took that to mean that a realistic view of the future prevailed. He was a cool dude.

  113. hzhousewife

    If China really was a totalitarian dictatorship, they would be isolating Wuhan now, notwithstanding Chinese New Year imminent.
    We are receiving three flights a week into Sydney from Wuhan, and the incubation period is two weeks.
    Will be interesting to watch.

  114. Monty the “increasing frequency of extreme weather events” is the most empirically refuted proposition in the climate debate, on a par with the disappearing polar bears. Look at the charts in the background to the Johnny Cash rendition of Dan Prawn.

    You still don’t get it, do you Rafe? The predictions were for less disasters but with greater intensity and impact, thus causing more damage and killing more people. So your graphs actually support the AGW thesis.

    Unsurprisingly, you are still in denial. You lost. It’s over.

  115. Leo G

    Dot, for an apparently intelligent man, sometimes you say the stupidest things.

    M0nty, you’re resorting to an apparently typical ad hominem argument.
    Why is it “stupid” to suggest that reducing natural fuel in a zone around dwellings would reduce fire risk for those dwellings?

  116. Why is it “stupid” to suggest that reducing natural fuel in a zone around dwellings would reduce fire risk for those dwellings?

    The stupid bit was saying that we should turn Australia into desert to remove the fire problem. That’s just dumb.

    Also, clearing wouldn’t completely solve things either. Embers fly miles away.

  117. hzhousewife

    The predictions were for less disasters but with greater intensity and impact, thus causing more damage and killing more people.

    You mean fewer disasters don’t you Monty?

  118. If the fires can advance 200 metres over a road corridor and 800 metres from a forest to dwellings, doesn’t that mean my proposal is milquetoast and the clear felling allowances should be hypothecated to double or even quadruple what I proposed?

  119. Also, clearing wouldn’t completely solve things either. Embers fly miles away.

    It would solve the low hanging 99% fruit.

  120. Now I can show you property as Bilpin and at Lake Conjola and near Eden where that clearance existed and yet the houses are no more.

    800 metres?

    Yes really, show us.

  121. Leo G

    The stupid bit was saying that we should turn Australia into desert to remove the fire problem.

    Dot’s statement referred to a limited 800 metre zone around dwellings and 200 metre around structures- not the whole of Australia. He was no more suggesting the desertification of Australia than the elimination of dwellings in non-desert areas.

  122. You mean fewer disasters don’t you Monty?

    LOL yes. 🙂

  123. If the fires can advance 200 metres over a road corridor and 800 metres from a forest to dwellings, doesn’t that mean my proposal is milquetoast and the clear felling allowances should be hypothecated to double or even quadruple what I proposed?

    This is where your methodology is shown as being ridiculous. Your ultimate goal is to remove the forest entirely. This is just a foolish line of argument.

  124. Your ultimate goal is to remove the forest entirely

    Not at all. Australia is so big that clearing on the scale I propose is practically insignificant.

    Our national parks near the NSW coast alone are bigger than some US states and some countries. You could fit greater Sydney into the Blue Mtns and Wollemi National Parks.

  125. Leo G

    Your ultimate goal is to remove the forest entirely.

    That is what a hot fire can achieve in some types of forest- like the mountain ash forests in South KNP that were wiped out in the 2003 fires. Those forests could have been defended with a more appropriate management plan for the park, the adjoining state forests and removal of often-absurd regulatory constraints on private land holders.

  126. Australia is so big that clearing on the scale I propose is practically insignificant.

    You really want to remove all trees from within several kilometres of any buildings. Do you realise how foolish you sound when you say that? And how useless it would be at the intended purpose of preventing fires?

    Just shush on this one Dot, you don’t know what you’re talking about. But then again, if that ever stopped you, you’d say very little at all.

  127. JC

    You still don’t get it, do you Rafe? The predictions were for less disasters but with greater intensity and impact, thus causing more damage and killing more people. So your graphs actually support the AGW thesis.

    Yea and the predictions are wrong. Totally. Lomborg has provided evidence that in the last 100 years weather related deaths are down 99%!

    Also, your point about severe weather intensity events disagrees even with the IPCC’s latest statement, which argues severity is milder.

    You’re wrong on everything, you fat lesbian.

  128. struth

    Stick to football Monty.
    Southern Gums are explosive due to the increased level of Eucalypt oil, so governments complying with UN agendas and not back burning created explosive fires mostly lit by arsonists.

    Not rocket science you mental pygmy.

    And the commenter above …………………………gums die back in hard times, they cut supply completely off to different limbs, it doesn’t mean they are dying.
    That’s their mechanism to stay alive during droughts.

  129. JC

    The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change’s (IPCC) newly-released climate report, once again, found little to no evidence global warming caused many types of extreme weather events to increase.

    “The IPCC once again reports that there is little basis for claiming that drought, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes have increased, much less increased due to” greenhouse gases, University of Colorado professor Roger Pielke, Jr. tweeted Sunday night.

    For example, the IPCC’s report noted that “there is only low confidence regarding changes in global tropical cyclone numbers under global warming over the last four decades.” Pielke pointed out this inconvenient data.

    Much like the IPCC’s 2013 climate assessment, the new special report confirmed what Pielke and others have said for years about the relationship between global warming and extreme weather.

  130. JC

    Monster, you comments about Gerbil Warming are about as valid as spam ads for penis enlargement. I appreciate that as an self-identifying lesbian you’d be more focused on ads dealing with penis shrinkage.

    “I am no longer reading this garbage” – “Similar claims are on par with the spam about penis enlargement” – Former Harvard U. Physicist, Luboš Motl rejects new UN IPCC Report

  131. monty you drip

    The rule would be that asset managers and dwelling occupants have a right to clear land withing 200 m and 800 m of their asset or dwelling.

    Along with reintroducing grazing in NPs and the like, such as native forestry and allowing a managed private felling/collection and recreational use programme on the fringes of NPs and SFs.

    It isn’t about destroying the forest at all, just managing them actively and containing risk/but also reducing hazards and fire loads.

    You can’t benefit from forests if you’re not allowed in them and not allowed to mitigate their risks.

    And how useless it would be at the intended purpose of preventing fires?

    That’s not the purpose. I can’t stop lightning strikes or arsonists. We can change the rules on how forests are managed and fire risk is contained. The purpose is to create safer environments for people and their property during fires.

    If you assert that AGW is a problem, we can do next to nothing about it besides export as much thorium and uranium as possible. Australian public policy cannot control how much electricity China and India consume. It can however direct supply into nuclear.

  132. JC, you are arguing both that the IPCC report is credible and also garbage. You don’t even know what you’re saying. Sit down, old man.

    It isn’t about destroying the forest at all, just managing them actively and containing risk/but also reducing hazards and fire loads.

    No Dot, the end point of your line of argument is about clear-felling the forests to stop bushfires. Just crazy stuff by you. Not out of the ordinary given your history, but plain loopy.

    If you assert that AGW is a problem, we can do next to nothing about it besides export as much thorium and uranium as possible.

    See, this is the sort of material that brands you as unserious. Anyone arguing for nukes is soft in the head. Especially so from an economist, as the economics of nuclear energy are just unworkable and you should know that.

  133. JC

    Monster

    I’m pointing out that even the gerbil warmers New Testament is even saying comments about severe weather events being attributable to gerbil warming is nonsense.

  134. No Dot, the end point of your line of argument is about clear-felling the forests to stop bushfires. Just crazy stuff by you. Not out of the ordinary given your history, but plain loopy.

    It would contain them to the point where they don’t matter. The amount of land cleared would be insignificant and I have been saying 5-6 different policy points for weeks, one of which is (limited) clear felling.

    See, this is the sort of material that brands you as unserious. Anyone arguing for nukes is soft in the head. Especially so from an economist, as the economics of nuclear energy are just unworkable and you should know that.

    This is entirely nonsense. What matters is scale. That’s all that matters with energy costs. It’s why fracking and shale are viable after oil prices fell.

    You cannot scale renewables without seriously high land acquisition or network connection costs. Nuke and even fossil fuels have serious cost advantages regarding energy density and EROEI. That doesn’t even entertain reliability.

  135. I’m pointing out that even the gerbil warmers New Testament is even saying comments about severe weather events being attributable to gerbil warming is nonsense.

    No they’re not. Pielke is cherrypicking. “Low confidence” is a mathematical term, it doesn’t mean they are refuting AGW but merely that its effect on increasing disastrous events has not been proven categorically yet. Every year, though, confidence in that conclusion will rise.

    But you probably know that and you’re just bullshitting. Or you’re ignorant. Either way, zip it gramps.

  136. (limited) clear felling

    Mmmmmmm hmm. Limited.

    This is entirely nonsense. What matters is scale. That’s all that matters with energy costs. It’s why fracking and shale are viable after oil prices fell.

    Nukes are never going to have scale, because they are currently ruinously expensive. Why would you bear the pain of investing enough capacity to take advantage of scale, when you already have the economics of scale working to your benefit in solar and wind. The Chinese already poured their billions into solar to give it scale. Now we can freeload off their investment. Win win!

    You cannot scale renewables without seriously high land acquisition or network connection costs. Nuke and even fossil fuels have serious cost advantages regarding energy density and EROEI. That doesn’t even entertain reliability.

    Nukes have no cost advantages over the lifetime of the project. They will take ten or more very expensive years to wind up, then you have to spend further billions on waste management for decades afterwards.

    You are en economist Dot, this is basic CBA stuff. Nukes are not an option. Stop flogging the horse.

  137. JC

    No they’re not. Pielke is cherrypicking. “Low confidence” is a mathematical term, it doesn’t mean they are refuting AGW but merely that its effect on increasing disastrous events has not been proven categorically yet. Every year, though, confidence in that conclusion will rise.

    Low confidence means exactly that, you irredeemable fat lesbian.

  138. struth

    This global warming shit was going on before you had a kid Monty.

    How dare you, how dare you, bring a child into this…………………..you knew us right wingers were intent on destroying the planet in, now, 11 years.

  139. mh

    No amount of mouth-frothing by Piers Morgan or artful deception by the legions of renewable energy warriors published by the Australian Financial Review and the Guardian will change the facts about this summer.

    Piers Morgan? The UK gossip columnist?

  140. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Frank: I’m suggesting that you dag yourself our of your arm chair and go to the paces you are pontificating about. Have a look. Talk to the people fighting fires. Seriously, some of this stuff written here would get you a bunch of fives in these places.

  141. Elderly White Man From Skipton
    #3299635, posted on January 23, 2020 at 8:37 am

    Frank: I’m suggesting that you dag yourself our of your arm chair and go to the paces you are pontificating about. Have a look. Talk to the people fighting fires. Seriously, some of this stuff written here would get you a bunch of fives in these places.

    Burp.

    I’m helping friends fix their burnt vineyard and machinery sheds this weekend.

    You’re a poseur and you want people to die because you want national parks on their doorstep, you pathetic ideologue.

  142. Nukes are never going to have scale, because they are currently ruinously expensive. Why would you bear the pain of investing enough capacity to take advantage of scale, when you already have the economics of scale working to your benefit in solar and wind. The Chinese already poured their billions into solar to give it scale. Now we can freeload off their investment. Win win!

    Jesus christ you are a moron monty.

    Scale gives rise to costs.

    There is no scaling effect with wind and solar. You are making this up. The IRR of solar and wind is far greater than coal, gas and nuke.

    Solar and wind do not have scale merely because someone has spent the money. They never will because of the land use issue, also because of network access.

    Your last comment about the Chinese makes absolutely no sense. You’re almost qualified to be an ALP Senator. How are we going to get cheap electricity simply because the panels are cheap? It doesn’t matter if they’re free. The energy density is awful, let alone the land issues, network connectivity and intermittency.

    Nukes have no cost advantages over the lifetime of the project. They will take ten or more very expensive years to wind up, then you have to spend further billions on waste management for decades afterwards.

    This is literally bullshit and ignores the waste of coal and solar.

    You are en economist Dot, this is basic CBA stuff. Nukes are not an option. Stop flogging the horse.

    You are ignoring the CBA metrics like IRR, EROEI and LCOE.

    You are correct. I am qualified, you failed 1st year.

  143. Whoops…

    The IRR is far lower…the payback period is far longer.

  144. How are we going to get cheap electricity simply because the panels are cheap? It doesn’t matter if they’re free. The energy density is awful, let alone the land issues, network connectivity and intermittency.

    Think about what you are saying. It literally doesn’t make any sense. You are arguing in the same thread about clearing trees out kilometres from any dwellings because apparently land is plentiful and can be left bare, and then also saying we don’t have enough land for solar! You idiot.

    This is Australia. We have plenty of land. Much of it is useless for anything other than solar. Network connectivity is a solvable engineering problem. Intermittency will be solved by advances in battery technology – another area where we will be free riding off investments by others.

    You keep pushing nukes but ignoring the myriad problems of time, economics and politics. Focusing on the narrow science of EROEI and ignoring everything else is not smart, Dot. It makes you look clueless.

  145. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Frank, I fear I didn’t give you enough credit. I was thinking you are just one of those loud, smug urban foghorns. Now I’m wondering if the reality is worse. I’m thinking you might be one of those big idea people from Canberra? Tell me it ain’t so!

  146. Kneel

    “No they’re not. Pielke is cherrypicking.”

    No, he isn’t. If you care to check, his results align perfectly with the vast majority of the science – he’d know, he’s one of the experts in this area, with many published papers on it.
    He ONLY uses IPCC and similar “good” (according to the alarmists) data.
    He cites IPCC science reports.
    He cites insurance companies like Munich Re.
    Once you adjust for inflation and exposure, there is NO TREND in weather related disaster damages. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Not a sausage. And as already mentioned, a 99% reduction in weather related deaths since 1900 or so – how many millions have been saved by the use of fossil fuels?

    Can you advise, if you are so certain of yourself on this, the amount of damages caused by CO2? No? OK, it’s a hard question, I can let you off for not having hard numbers on that. But surely you have calculated the advantages of fossil fuel use – you know, so you can do a cost-benefit analysis? No? Hard to make your case then, innit? You don’t know the costs OR the benefits!

    If it’s time for some “precaution”, then please hand over $200M and I will use it to ensure the flying spaghetti monster never trashes your house – you can never be too careful, and just because I can’t show you evidence doesn’t mean it’s not real. Oh wait, you need an expert to tell you, right? OK, ignore the flying spaghetti monster then, I do plenty of IT stuff, so hand over the dosh and I’ll make sure there’s no more porn and no more pirate movies on the ‘net in Australia – again $200M should do it (you don’t mind if I pocket some, right? A mans gotta live you know…)

  147. Kneel

    “Nukes are never going to have scale, because they are currently ruinously expensive.”

    How’s that buggy whip business going Monty?

    You realise, of course, that there are several companies in the process of obtaining US federal approval for small modular reactors – less than 100MW, container sized. Sealed things – when they run out of fuel, you swap them for a newby and it gets refueled at the factory. “Walk away” safe designs (if they go “off reservation”, you don’t need to do anything, you can just walk away – no power required, no external cooling required etc, they will just stop themselves eventually, without any leaks).
    Or check out EMCC’s track record on LENR fusion – they just need $US200M or so to build a full scale test unit. They already proved their science at several smaller scales, they need to prove it at full scale and then maybe do a bit more in terms of reliability of materials etc – it’s really just engineering now. Being funded by US DoD (Navy). Couple of others reckon they have similar – Carnegie-Melon IIRC as well as Lockheed Martin. Less than we spend every year on renew-a-bubbles would see the majority of these to conclusion, but there is no money for that – thanks greenies!

  148. Lee

    Nukes are never going to have scale, because they are currently ruinously expensive.

    You have to hand it to climate change alarmists/zealots like yourself, Monty.

    You claim that we have to spend whatever is necessary to abate or stop “global warming”, but when anyone suggests nuclear power, all you hypocrites become hysterical at the prospect and claim that it is far too expensive.

    Admit it, you just don’t want nuclear power stations.

    By the way, most of your much-loved solar panels are made in China using coal-fired plants, then have to be shipped here.
    It takes more energy to make, ship, and dispose of solar panels than a solar panel will produce in its fairly short lifetime.

  149. Think about what you are saying. It literally doesn’t make any sense. You are arguing in the same thread about clearing trees out kilometres from any dwellings because apparently land is plentiful and can be left bare, and then also saying we don’t have enough land for solar! You idiot.

    Do you want to have solar power stations near Jingellic in a state forest and pay for the network costs?

    You are literally too dumb comment about economics monty.

    This is Australia. We have plenty of land. Much of it is useless for anything other than solar.

    That isn’t true at all and what is only good for solar is so remote it is not worth doing.

    Intermittency will be solved by advances in battery technology – another area where we will be free riding off investments by others.

    This is insane. Nuclear power has built in capacity/latency/intermittency. As does hydroelectricity.

    Batteries in SA last for 15 minutes. Without coal elsewhere, they don’t work.

    “It will be solved” – when? 2300 A.D.?

    You keep pushing nukes but ignoring the myriad problems of time, economics and politics. Focusing on the narrow science of EROEI and ignoring everything else is not smart, Dot. It makes you look clueless.

    I’ve pointed out network costs, LCOE, EROEI, scale, intermittency, latency and subsidies, along with energy density.

    I’m not going to be lectured to or hectored by some obese halfwit who can’t even pass 1st year econ.

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