“Bewildered” Climate Scientists: Aussie Politicians are Still Not Listening

CSIRO Project Aquarius experimental fire Block 20, 1/3/83, McCorkhill, WA. Fire emerging from block 1 hour after ignition. Crowning of intermediate tree layer. Intensity 7500 kW/m, rate of spread 800-1000 m/h. CSIRO [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Climate scientists have expressed their dismay that Aussie politicians are not treating this year’s awful bushfire season as a wakeup call for climate action.

Leading scientists condemn political inaction on climate change as Australia ‘literally burns’

Climate experts ‘bewildered’ by government ‘burying their heads in the sand’, and say bushfires on Australia’s east coast should be a ‘wake-up call’

Lisa Cox
Sat 7 Dec 2019 06.00 AEDT
Last modified on Sat 7 Dec 2019 06.03 AEDT

Leading scientists have expressed concern about the lack of focus on the climate crisis as bushfires rage across New South Wales and Queensland, saying it should be a “wake-up call” for the government.

Climate experts who spoke to Guardian Australia said they were “bewildered” the emergency had grabbed little attention during the final parliamentary sitting week for the year, which was instead taken up by the repeal of medevac laws, a restructure of the public service, and energy minister Angus Taylor’s run-in with the American author Naomi Wolf.

Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, a climate scientist with the University of NSW’s Climate Change Research Centre, said she was “surprised, bewildered, concerned” that the emergency had prompted little discussion from political leaders this week.

“Here we are in the worst bushfire season we’ve ever seen, the biggest drought we’ve ever had, Sydney surrounded by smoke, and we’ve not heard boo out of a politician addressing climate change,” she said.

“They dismissed it from the outset and haven’t come back to it since.

“They’re burying their heads in the sand while the world is literally burning around them and that’s the scary thing. It’s only going to get worse.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/07/leading-scientists-condemn-political-inaction-on-climate-change-as-australia-literally-burns

The reason, of course, is just like in the USA the Aussie bushfires are a forest mismanagement issue, not a climate change issue.

Government hostility towards back burning and harsh treatment of farmers who try to manage fire risk has led to a catastrophic buildup of fuel load in the Aussie bush, and now that accumulated fuel load is burning. Big surprise.

In my opinion Climate scientists who try to take advantage of a problem which is obviously not climate related are simply exposing their activism and lack of objectivity.

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December 6, 2019 10:24 pm

“Australia literally burns” its bushfire season and one State has major bushfires.

Was the US “literally burning” when California had bushfires?

Many so called experts and scientists are complete idiots or lying agenda pushers. You be the judge

A C Osborn
Reply to  yarpos
December 7, 2019 1:51 am

More to the point, WHO is setting most of the fires, because very few are caused naturally.

Reply to  A C Osborn
December 7, 2019 2:36 am

My guess is green people. In fact many are teenagers brainwashed by Gore’s movie with 35 errors that is shown in all government schools.

Reply to  A C Osborn
December 7, 2019 4:43 am

very hot weather north winds and 3+yrs drought throw in a shitload of national parks unburnt n ungrazed thansk to greens
and what we call dry lightning
ie storms no rain so when lightning hits shes off n running
as well as mindless bsatards who go light fires as well.

I still dont think the area burnt is larger than the early settlers years and the temps either
look at the massive areas of protected parks in nsw vic especially its damned near half the states landmass,
and fools think the cheap land near parks is a bargain cos “all the wildlife”
yeah wildlife that eats your garden ruins your roof(possums) and cannot be removed
as well as shitty fencing and poor landclearance firebreaks n burns.

oh and the topper?
abc science show had some Spurt on saying the early burns for reduction were actualy making it worse
but hed NOT got a sane option for how to control overgrowth any other way of course.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
December 7, 2019 9:01 am

Australia is a mostly dry continent. In 1920 it had a population of 5 million, today it is around 24 million

Not only are they each consuming more water but crops are irrigated more and there are far more citizens to observe fires and report them.

Although a very large country I doubt it has the water available to sustain a larger population than it currently has, unless the climate improves drastically from that observed by Watkins tench 200 years ago and which seems very similar to today

Reply to  tonyb
December 7, 2019 11:08 am

Tonyb, yes a rational person would only take about 20 seconds thought to conclude that, since Australia naturally became an incendiary eucalyptus monoculture through aeons of omnipresent fire, that’s how natural evolution made today’s antipodean environment, and the presence or otherwise of humans is not going to alter the default propensity of the landscape to burn the bejeezus out of itself as often as it wants to.

Don Hevey
Reply to  ozspeaksup
December 7, 2019 8:08 pm

I spoke recently to someone who has a home on the Central North Coast of New South Wales, who lives next door to a National park. He was told by all insurance companies that they would not give him coverage for his house unless he cleared all trees within 60 metres of home. He had a quote from an arborist to do the job for $12000, so he rang the Council for permission which was refused. On asking what the fine would for going ahead, he was told it was $20,000. So, he hold them to send a bill as it was a lot cheaper than losing his $1,500,000 house. Green Councils are literally life threatening with their stupidity. Australia has had many larger, more destructive bushfires than the current one’s but as schools no longer teach Australian history, and show little effort to do any research from available newspaper records, they are condemned to repeat the same actions continually, even ‘though the outcome is predictable – the ver definition of insanity!

Reply to  A C Osborn
December 7, 2019 5:09 am

I wonder how many are climate activists?

Lake Illawarra Police District Inspector Brian Pedersen said the number of deliberately lit fires across the district is a concern.

Three 12-year-old boys are caught deliberately lighting fires on the NSW South Coast as fast-moving blazes continue to ravage the region


Patrick MJD
Reply to  icisil
December 7, 2019 5:04 pm

Not reported here in Australia. 87% of fires this year started by people. 7 of them started by a “Fireie” and has been charged with the offence. But climate change is being blamed.

Tom Foley
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 7, 2019 7:05 pm

These are not mutually exclusive causes. If the fire season is longer (and this has limited control burning), the vegetation drier, the weather hotter and windier, there are more opportunities for fire bugs, and more chance that small fires lit deliberately will get out of control. The intensive media coverage, fire warnings and reports, is probably also a factor.

If climate change is a factor, it will provide more opportunities for arson. Lots of factors are involved, it’s not either/or.

Tom Foley
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 7, 2019 7:27 pm

The 12-years caught lighting fires were reported in Australia by the ABC and SBS, major papers The Sydney Morning Herald and Age, and local papers such as the Illawarra Mercury. In fact there has been wide coverage of a number of cases of bushfire arsonists over the last couple of months. All retrievable through Google.

The 87% includes accidental as well as deliberate fires. If climate change increases bushfire weather, that provides more opportunities for both accidental and deliberate fires started by people.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 7, 2019 10:13 pm

I had suspected this and the activist media is obviously playing it down or censoring it out BUT

Reply to  A C Osborn
December 7, 2019 9:12 am

Here are some who are setting the fires. It’s appalling but not unknown for firefighters themselves to be the culprits.

Australian firefighter accused of arson during record bush fires in ‘ultimate betrayal’

John Robertson
Reply to  A C Osborn
December 7, 2019 2:31 pm

Gang Green.

Reply to  yarpos
December 7, 2019 1:55 am

Taleb describes the intellectual yet idiot.

… their main skill is capacity to pass exams written by people like them.

Their prescriptions for our behavior rely on their predictions that the prescriptions will work. Their predictions are correct only by accident. A dart-throwing chimp generates more accurate predictions.

… that people who make prediction their business—people who appear as experts on television, get quoted in newspaper articles, advise governments and businesses, and participate in punditry roundtables—are no better than the rest of us. When they’re wrong, they’re rarely held accountable, and they rarely admit it, either. Tetlock

The supreme over-confidence of the so called experts* leads them to be wrong more often than they are right.

*There are experts who excel at practiced performance. They fly our planes, do our heart surgeries, and build our bridges. Them you can trust with your life. The problem is that people with a lot of education are also called experts. It would be good if the two types had different names, but they don’t and that’s a serious problem.

Reply to  commieBob
December 7, 2019 2:52 am

Experts… in theory! 😉

Reply to  Scott W Bennett
December 7, 2019 3:53 am

No one is an expert in predicting the future.

Reply to  GregB
December 7, 2019 6:14 am

Some will disagree.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  GregB
December 7, 2019 8:26 am

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

– Esteemed scientist, Yogi Berra.

Reply to  commieBob
December 7, 2019 8:16 am

We separate them into “scientist” and “engineers”.
Scientists can calculate a number.
Engineers can calculate the same number and also tell you how big of a shit load that really is, then use that calculation to actually make something useful to society.

One studies science the other applies it.
(if you can’t tell by my bias I’m actually an engineer…hmm I guess ‘was’ an engineer as I recently retired)

Steve Taylor
Reply to  Rocketscientist
December 7, 2019 8:56 am

You’re born to be an engineer. You are always an engineer.

Reply to  Rocketscientist
December 7, 2019 2:13 pm

“The era of the steam engine … was well into its second century before a fully formed science of thermodynamics had been developed.”

Tom Foley
Reply to  Rocketscientist
December 7, 2019 4:16 pm

I once worked with a group of both scientists and engineers – I’m a scientist. One day we reached a frustrating impasse on a project. In behind-the-scenes discussion, a truth was stated by one of my colleagues: “You won’t get anywhere arguing with X, he’s an engineer and they only think in straight lines’.

The debate was about numbers: the engineers produced figures for two different scenarios: 5,610,456 and 5,477,164 and claimed this proved the first was better than the second. I (the scientist) said: what are the standard deviations, and anyway why are you using seven significant figures?

Reply to  Tom Foley
December 7, 2019 5:06 pm

In the example you provided, in the worst case it might not make any difference which option was chosen.

When a scientist gets something wrong, the result may be a study that can’t be replicated. And that might lead to money being wasted on a policy or project that will fail. But chances are that the scientist won’t get much blame.

When an engineer gets something wrong, the results are a lot more visible and the blame is less diffused. Remember the Challenger? Or the Mars Climate Orbiter?

Bottom line, I trust engineers more than scientists. They’re not perfect, but their work is more reliable on percentage basis.

Tom Foley
Reply to  Tom Foley
December 7, 2019 6:50 pm

To Ralph. The whole exercise was meaningless, because we already had a good idea from the scientists’ field studies what needed to be done. The point of the exercise? ‘We have to have something simple for the director to give to the minister’. And standard deviations? Far too academic!

I have plenty of other examples! But to be fair, I have worked with some excellent engineers.

Reply to  Tom Foley
December 7, 2019 8:19 pm

As far as I can tell, significant digits and their importance is a subject taught in all engineering schools everywhere. I think the local community college used to give an award to the student who inappropriately used the most significant digits. Like the Ignobel prize, it wasn’t exactly a badge of honor.

Tom Foley
Reply to  commieBob
December 8, 2019 4:09 am

Planes crash due to pilot error, people die on the operating tables, bridges fall down. Humans are fallible.

Future predictions based on modelling the past are more difficult than those practical tasks. The more complex – and the earth’s atmosphere and the interaction of all the factors involved is really complex – the harder it is to get right. It is not the experts that are different, it’s the scale of the endeavour. I guess everyone should have just packed it in. Then of course, when it turns out the climate really is changing due to human actions, there will be a chorus of anger and complaint: ‘Why didn’t the experts say something?’

Reply to  Tom Foley
December 8, 2019 9:13 am

It is not the experts that are different …

Actually, it is. Where public safety is at stake there is usually a license involved. There is also, often, a requirement to pass an ethics exam.

Bridges fail. OK, how much? An engineer is correct 99.999% of the time at least.

Soi disant experts are free to bloviate. Their prognostications are correct less than what would be produced by a magic 8 ball. Even where their bloviations have a serious effect on public policy and create billions of dollars damage, they are almost never punished.

There’s a huge difference between the two types of expert.

F.LEGHORN in Alabama
Reply to  yarpos
December 7, 2019 2:37 pm

Embrace the power of “and”.

Tom Foley
Reply to  yarpos
December 7, 2019 8:04 pm

Both NSW and Queensland have had, and still have, major fires over the last month or so. These have been getting all the headlines. A couple of weeks ago, fire was endangering Geraldton in WA. There are minor fires elsewhere, especially in northern Australia, but these don’t get coverage because they are not endangering houses and towns.

Actually it’s not quite bushfire season yet. That’s summer in southern Australia – with peak fires in January and February. Further north (Queensland) they do also occur in Spring but the ones we’re just had in November (spring) have been unusually severe for that time of the year.

December 6, 2019 10:27 pm

“In my opinion Climate scientists who try to take advantage of a problem which is obviously not climate related are simply exposing their activism and lack of objectivity.”

IOW they aren’t “scientists” at all.

Andy Espersen
Reply to  rah
December 7, 2019 1:14 am

The rest of us are bemused and bewildered about the bewildered, so-called climate scientists. It is all bewilderment!

Eugene S. Conlin
Reply to  rah
December 7, 2019 1:44 am

I have to agree.
It seems that physicists, biologists, geologists, chemists and astronomists are all scientists, but one don’t tend to have the term “scientist” attached to prove that they are such.
I would lump Climate scientists in with political scientists – neither being sciences, more about manipulation and indoctrination.

Reply to  Eugene S. Conlin
December 7, 2019 4:47 am

And how do we account for the “social” scientists? Seems like an oxymoron to me.

Eugene Conlin
Reply to  Russell
December 7, 2019 9:36 am

I agree Russell, we could probably thin of more – these were the first that sprung to mind (parliamentary elections here)

Tom Foley
Reply to  Eugene S. Conlin
December 7, 2019 3:58 pm

“Climate scientists” are physicists, meteorologists, astronomers, oceanographer, botanists, geologists, palynologists, mathematicians etc who study climate. Climate study has to be multi-disciplinary because earth’s climate at any given time is the result of the complex interplay of the state of the sun, the orientation and movement of the earth, the distribution of land and sea, the past and current activities of life on earth (e.g. plants, termites, people), and the dynamics of the earth’s atmosphere.

The use of the term ‘climate scientist’ is shorthand for any scientist working in climate research.

Agricultural science provides a parallel: agricultural scientists include chemists, botanists, entomologists, agronomists, geomorphologists ( soil), geneticists (plant and animal breeding) and more. Do you reject agricultural science or agricultural scientists?

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Eugene S. Conlin
December 18, 2019 4:38 am

Tom Foley December 7, 2019 at 3:58 pm

“Climate scientists” are physicists, meteorologists, astronomers, oceanographer, botanists, geologists, palynologists, mathematicians etc who study climate.

Climate study has to be multi-disciplinary because earth’s climate at any given time is the result of the complex interplay of the state of the sun, the orientation and movement of the earth, the distribution of land and sea, the past and current activities of life on earth (e.g. plants, termites, people), and the dynamics of the earth’s atmosphere.

The use of the term ‘climate scientist’ is shorthand for any scientist working in climate research.

Agricultural science provides a parallel:

agricultural scientists include chemists, botanists, entomologists, agronomists, geomorphologists ( soil), geneticists (plant and animal breeding) and more. Do you reject agricultural science or agricultural scientists?


“Agricultural science provides a parallel:

agricultural scientists include chemists, botanists, entomologists, agronomists, geomorphologists (soil), geneticists (plant and animal breeding) and more.

Do you reject agricultural science or agricultural scientists?”


“Scientists” don’t work with spread sheets, Excel files to determine

– the “right” date of sowing,

– the amount of seed required,

– the stock exchange value of the harvest,

– the harvest time to meet,

– water consumption and transport logistics.

That’s the difference.

Tom Foley
Reply to  Johann Wundersamer
December 18, 2019 4:41 pm

I don’t quite see your point. As a scientist, I use spread-sheets, Excel files where appropriate.

For agriculture, deciding on the ‘right’ date of sowing is influenced by a number of thing: the results of scientific research into plant varieties, soil, water requirements etc plus individual farmer’s knowledge of how that applies to their location, soils and climate.

Other things on your list require both scientific and local knowledge plus assessment of current economic circumstances, eg is it worth the cost of harvesting the crop if its value has plummeted. One thing you left out is water politics and the way that affects whether you chose annual or perennial crops (a current issue in Australia re almonds v cotton).

Whatever the issue agriculture today requires a firm underpinning of science: knowledge of crop varieties, soil, fertiliser, pesticides, water requirements, short-term weather variability, overall climate patterns. And, whether climate is changing and how to adapt. A wide range of different scientific knowledge is required, by people who can be grouped as agricultural scientists, climate scientistists, etc. Then economic and political (and ideally historic) knowledge will add to practical decision-making by farmers.

Reply to  rah
December 7, 2019 9:16 am

Think I would say, “Climate scientists who try to take advantage of a problem which is obviously not climate related are simply exposing the fact that there few problems, if any, that ARE related to changes in the climate.”

Truth does not need fake evidence.

December 6, 2019 10:40 pm

“bushfires are a forest mismanagement issue, not a climate change issue.”

Says who? You? Why? what, a gut feeling?

“exposing their activism and lack of objectivity.”

Presumably exposing the activism and lack of objectivity of all the retired fire chiefs too?

“gagged by the government”. Hmm do think there is common thread here?

You expose only yourself.

Reply to  Loydo
December 6, 2019 11:39 pm

Who says so.?

All the people fighting the fires, That’s who !!

The people who are actually there, and can see the massive build-up of highly combustible undergrowth. !!

The drought is caused by anomalously cold sea surface temperatures above and below Australia, and in the last 2 centuries, is not the worst drought by any means

You should really stop making such ignorance based comments Loy-DOH !!

You expose your gross ignorance in ever post you make.

Reply to  fred250
December 7, 2019 2:42 am

the aussies need to adapt. koalas should by now have developed asbestos fur and the aussies should be vacuuming the forests as Trump suggests – follow the Finish people. Aussie houses should be non combustible – simple!.
Presumably aussies should be adapting by growing thick nose hairs to filter smog?
Remember adaption is better and cheaper than actually cutting CO2.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 7, 2019 7:48 am

Donald Trump said they should rake their forests. And lo and behold, the heavy equipment manufacturers make “rakes” for just this purpose. If climate activists actually knew something and didn’t just jump to conclusions they would be better off. Maybe you should read now and then.


Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
December 7, 2019 8:21 am

Ghalfrunt throws an Aussie boomerang hand grenade. Hopefully, never to be heard from again.

Tom Foley
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
December 7, 2019 3:33 pm

Raking forests? Fine, if the land is flat, the trees far enough apart to get a machine through, and there are no big roots, rocks or shrubs to trip the rake. Try raking steep hillsides, narrow gullies and dense forest. Last night on the bushfire news report, people were saying: it just came out of the gully and raced up the hill! Yes, fires go much faster up hill.

I’ve just been cleaning up a slope behind my property: about 30m across by 5m down with 15 big gum trees. Impossible to remove all the leaf litter, bark strips and sticks with a tractor and blade (a rake would not have worked either), has to be done by hand.

Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 7, 2019 11:46 am

Another alarmist who can’t be bothered with actually talking facts, instead just spews ignorant spite.

Reply to  fred250
December 8, 2019 1:29 am

Fred250 December 6, 2019 at 11:39 pm

Fully support Fred 250. The ex fire chiefs who made the silly comments to the Oz government had done no research. They simply agreed with each other that the fires they have seen on TV this fire season appear to be more severe than any fires they fought during their careers as fire fighters. Their data was their collective career memories. Australia has a very much longer recorded history of bushfires than the 60 – 70 years remembered by the ex fire chiefs.

The worst recorded bushfires in our history occurred in 1851. The Black Thursday bushfires were a devastating series of fires that swept the state of Victoria (then part of the Colony of NSW), on 6 February 1851. Twelve human lives were lost, along with one million sheep, thousands of cattle and countless native animals.

Possibly some scientist could come up with a guess at the atmospheric concentration of CO2 in 1851, which of course had nothing whatever to do with the 1851 fires. We do know however that the fires were caused by human activity.

The fires were caused in part by an intense drought that occurred throughout 1850 when the continent suffered from extreme heat. On 6 February 1851, a strong furnace-like wind came down from the north and gained power and speed as the hours passed. It is believed that the disaster began in Plenty Ranges when a couple of bullock drivers left logs burning unattended, which set fire to long, dry grass affected by the recent drought.

The Wiki entry is worth reading at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Thursday_bushfires

There is little doubt that bushfires in several countries including the USA (California) and Australia are caused by a failure to control the amount of fire fuel in fire prone areas combined with predictable weather conditions and an ignition event.

Jimbo at Wollombi (one of several rural villages which are in danger tonight from three major bushfires)

Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 7, 2019 2:21 am

Of course a lack of controlled burning has worsened the fire risk. But so has climate change caused by our emissions. As if a temperature increase wouldn’t. From your own link:

“Mr Thornton said drought and climate change were also reducing the opportunities to conduct planned burns.

“The increased temperature from climate change is pushing some of those windows much later into the year into the winter,” he said.”

Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 2:39 am

These fires are being lit by people and many are being charged. Temperature does not start a fire.

Reply to  CLIVE
December 8, 2019 1:51 am

You absolutely obliterated that straw man CLIVE.

Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 11:52 am

Just a few posts ago you were claiming that only climate change was responsible.
However, it would help if you could demonstrate that anything about the climate is at all unusual. Especially given the fact that the earth has been warmer than it is today for 90% of the last 10,000 years.

Reply to  MarkW
December 7, 2019 11:53 pm

“you were claiming that only climate change was responsible”

Make-it-up Mark, at least make stuff up that is slightly more difficult to check.

Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 1:00 pm


Give us one simple answer…
How long do we have to wait before your magic windmills reduce global temperatures enough for fire to not be a problem?

4 Eyes
Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 4:08 pm

How much has the climate changed Loydo and how much is natural? If you can’t quantify how much is natural then you can’t quantify how much is anthropogenic. I’m in my late 60s, lived in Oz the whole time and I’ve seen all this before. And records show our worst drought was over 110 yrs ago and the worst bushfires were in 1851 around Melbourne.

And saying “The increased temperature from climate change…” is nonsense. Climate change does not cause increased temperatures. Increased temperatures may cause climate change.

Reply to  Loydo
December 6, 2019 11:59 pm

(Useless off topic insulting comment deleted) sunmod

Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 12:00 am

There will be no more bush fires in those areas that burned today for many years to come .
Fires need fuel irrespective of climate or weather .
If the fuel is allowed to accumulate again , then it will burn again .
Maybe the fire chiefs can do a rain dance or just get the whipper snippers out .

Reply to  george1st:)
December 7, 2019 3:57 am

fred250 – ever heard of Godwin’s Law (look it up). This now needs changing to include calling someone Marxist or Antifa.

I therefore claim you have lost the argument by virtue of Godwin’s Law.

Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 7, 2019 5:02 am

(this thread is for discussing or debating the topic, not to argue about whether someone in the thread is a Marxist or not, thus your off topic, useless comment is deleted) SUNMOD

Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 7, 2019 11:53 am

It really is fascinating how upset Marxists get when someone points out that they are Marxists.

Tom Foley
Reply to  MarkW
December 7, 2019 8:11 pm

I don’t get upset, just disappointed when someone calls me a Marxist because I write something they disagree with. Actually I am amused, because it means they have no real arguments and are not interested in an exchange of information. Calling someone a Marxist effectively says “you win, I concede. I can’t think of anything more to add to the discussion so I’ll call you names”.

Reply to  george1st:)
December 7, 2019 4:51 am

the problem is?
they WILL allow all seedling that regenerate to grow no matter how closely crowded they get
and it will be woody weeds as the fires will have knocked the grasses and even buried seed to hell n gone. birds will reseed it slowy.
they WONT allow grazing to thin it out in the first 2 to 3 yrs afterwards crcial time for edibility of saplings etc
and so about 15 to 20 yrs on it will be even bushier and less able to be fought
and they wont have the nous to allow wide strips for easier access cos…animals might get upset.

Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 1:28 am

FGS, Lloydo. Do you ever comprehend reality in any scenario?

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
December 7, 2019 11:54 am

Comprehension is not in his pay grade.

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 1:30 am


those clowns were the one’s in charge who did sweet FA about fuel reduction while they had the reins, they did not come out en masse and critique the State governments ( the one’s with actual jurisdiction over such matters).

The large fuel loads mean these are very ‘hot’ fires that will burn off the treetops and leave only the trunks and large branches of the older, healthier eucalypts and in a few years the burned areas will fit the description Bill Gammage came across, looking like “an English gentleman’s park” (actually an Indigenous family’s park).

I heard one of those clowns whining that in a couple of years there would be an small covering of dry leaves on the ground and there would be another fire and so preventive burning was a complete WOFTAM. Of course there could be but it would be a low intensity, ‘cold’ fire and easily managed or put out. The only WOFTAM was them and their salaries while on the job, imo.

So now you are properly informed.

Its been my pleasure.


Reply to  Komrade Kuma
December 7, 2019 2:30 am

Those former fire chiefs with decades of fire-fighting eperience (you call them clowns) were gagged by their political leaders from commenting publicly about the lack of funding – the cause of insufficient controlled burning. They can speak with impunity now they are retired.

“I heard one of those clowns whining ”
Bs. Who?

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 4:13 am

Well if insufficient controlled burning ( a STATE responsibility) is the main issue, why the heck were they mouthing off at the FEDERAL government about action regarding ‘climate change’?

Speaking with impunity? Tht is not speaking with impunity, that is speaking with idiocy.

BTW, the motor mouth spokesperson for the clown clique ( the former NSW firey head) is now a member of The Climate Council, you know the mob who have Tim Flannery as their figure head. He is not just in bed with ‘climate change’ activists, is one of them it seems and that dissolves any credit he may have had from his time heading up the NSW outfit.

On another angle, these guys are apparently excused for not speaking up when the risk of a bushfire catastrophe was building with the fuel load, they apparently knew damn well what was really at issue and the rising risk to homes and lives let alone the sheer cost of fighting the eventual fire and they just sat schtum to keep their jobs? Honorable, honest, professionsal RESIGN in such circumstances. Given the numbers in the clown clique it is not as if their concerns were some deep hidden secret but rather were commonly held. Did they not talk to each other as colleagues informally or at intersate conferences etc?

That is precisely why I referred to them as “clowns”.

Their reputations should be as far down the toilet as the Westpac bank CEO.

paul courtney
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
December 7, 2019 7:06 am

Lloydoh: Looks like Komrade exposed your argument from authority as non-authority. When your argument rests on “fire chiefs, therefore true”, proving the activists-draped-in-uniform are not authority but are in fact self-interested to avoid blame (as Komrade does) is a check, mate.

Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 4:57 am

lack of funding?
the bloody DWELP here have the very best of verthing and multiples of equipment and staff outta the kahoozy!
what do they burn?
the open parks that are easy access none of the shittier gullies etc
and a winter burn or even late autumn after fist rains doesnt require much money it needs a can of diesel and a match and a few blokes with water tanks to be on standby.

curiously the mob across from me manage to Work EVERY easter 4 day holiday and gain massive overtime right at the time we have tourists in the areas theyre working at.
and the times theyve got away and burnt double is a local joke!

Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 11:56 am

Notice how Loydo attempts to change the subject.
More evidence that even she knows she is losing.

Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 1:08 pm

I have very sour memories of Phil Koperburg misrepresenting Fuel Management Burning – denying the doctrine and training that HE APPROVED for RFS volunteers – when those same volunteers were pointing out the growing problem in NSW National Parks.

These are not impartial administrators. They are political appointees, servants of their political masters. Now they are trying to put the responsibility on ANYTHING other than the thing that they permitted to happen.

Or so it seems to me.

Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 8:37 pm

The former fire chiefs who have become activists and ignored because they are activists. The government is simply reflecting the majority view of the Australian people. The Australian public don’t trust any of these clowns because they are clearly biased.

Tom Foley
Reply to  LdB
December 7, 2019 10:02 pm

Perhaps the former fire chiefs have become activists because of their actual knowledge and experience? I’d be happier accepting their view than that of a city person (on whatever side of the debate) who has had no practical experience, but has just read things on-line. Also, they have nothing to lose, or gain, being retired former fire chiefs. Current chiefs or other employees cannot easily speak out. So, on balance, they are less likely to be biased (unless you define bias as having some actual knowledge).

What evidence do you have that the majority of people think the fire chiefs are biased clowns? Or do you just accept the government’s view that they know what the ‘silent Australians’ think? If they are silent, how do you or the government know?

Reply to  LdB
December 8, 2019 3:52 am

There is a simple answer both parties have polled there voter base which is why neither is playing to it. Given those parties got 70% of the primary vote clearly they represent the majority and why there is no real heat on them to do anything except “green” noise which form half the balance of the rest. The other half is parties like one nation etc and they largely don’t agree either. When the green get close to 40% vote then people we will talk.

That is not an unbiased view he is a climate activist by his own publicity and why he is ignored (not gagged) by the government.

Tom Foley
Reply to  LdB
December 8, 2019 4:27 am

LdB. Re the voter base. You may not have noticed the very noisy farmers marching on Canberra, complaining about the Murray Basin Plan. Not directly climate change, but most farmers I know think the climate is aggravating the situation and the government is not doing anything.


The heartland of the Murray Darling Basin threw out the LNP government at the state elections, but voted for them in the federal election. One reasons for that: the different size of the electorates where the federal electorates are much bigger and are dominated by regional city populations.

Reply to  LdB
December 8, 2019 7:40 pm

You didn’t provide any argument that it is anything but noise.

Ultimately the proof is the Green vote is 10% which still has not even eclipsed there historic high of 11% so people put something else ahead of enviroment and climate change.

People don’t care don’t shoot the messenger it is what the voting says.

Reply to  Komrade Kuma
December 7, 2019 4:53 am

ah you heard the some fool I did
when he was concerned the millipedes would have been lost or have no litter to live in..
I almost choked
not even sure if thereIS a native version
but if every millipeded was removed for good it would be a blessing indeed

Tom Foley
Reply to  ozspeaksup
December 7, 2019 10:27 pm

There are several hundred native species of millipedes in Australia. They perform an essential role, breaking down forest leaf litter (along with fungi, slaters), you know, that stuff that fuels bushfires. Other insects, spiders, lizards, birds and small mammals eat millipedes, and bigger lizards, snakes, birds and larger mammals eat them, so the nutrients released from the leaf litter move through the faunal chain as well as being absorbed by plant roots.

Millipedes have got a bad name in Australia because of the activities of an introduced species, the Portugese millipede, which invades houses and gardens. It’s definitely a problem, but we really need the native ones in the bush. I wonder whether the excess build-up of leaf litter is partly due to a decline in millipedes and other leaf litter decomposers? One American study found that controlled burning reduced millipede numbers.

Tom Foley
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
December 7, 2019 4:40 pm

The immediate after effect of severe bushfires is scrubby regrowth. This happens not only in eucalypt woodlands but in Callitris pine forests (This is a native Australian pine). That regrowth can fuel future fires. There are fire maps available for many areas, e.g. national parks, with fire scars mapped from satellite imagery, the vegetation stage identified in each, where the date of the fire is known. There’s not a simple relationship between burning and the development of a gentleman’s parkland. We still don’t know exactly how the Aboriginal burning achieved this.

The lack of recent burning off in some places has been due mainly to unsuitable weather conditions (too hot, too windy) but also to more stringent safety requirements near farms, towns and houses. It’s a balance of risk: starting a major fire by burning off, or later, having a major fire anyway. The risk of the former is increasing, now that we can get major fires at any time of the year.

Reply to  Tom Foley
December 8, 2019 1:52 am


Actually, we do have a pretty good idea how Aboriginals achieved their results. It was by burning frequently enough to prevent maturation and reseeding by those scrub species that require more than twelve months to reproductive maturity.

The result is an open, grassy understory that promotes frequent burning at an intensity low enough to not harm large, mature eucalypts.

The dense scrubs are produced by intense, infrequent fires that reduce the soil to a microfiber seedbed and open the canopy right up by destroying mature trees of the dominant species.

It is all about frequency, and European stockmen knew how to mimic it. If you are interested, look up the work of Vic Jurskis. Firestick Ecology.

As to risk, it is far less when burns are carried out in the appropriate seasons. The problem is partly funding, because most of the timbered areas have been taken from State Forests, who had the manpower and machinery (and income) to manage the bush… And given to National Parks, which haven’t. (I’ve worked with both on fires)

The other factor is that media assumes that fire should be zero-risk, and the Agencies get absolutely hammered any time someone’s property is affected. I agree that Agencies should be accountable, but when we make them so gun-shy that they are afraid to take reasonable precautions, we are cutting our own throats.

I’m sick and tired of people expecting us to save them whenever they are under threat, but won’t accept the need for cleared breakers, some mildly scorched bush and a bit of smoke every couple of years.

Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 1:59 am


How does the weather change anything? When did rain, wind or sun suddenly become bad? In your world is earth supposed to have bright sunny days with a cool breeze 😐 Global warming, sorry I meant climate change, sorry my mistake, climate emergency, is nothing but the weather, russia is cold, Jamaica is hot, and if you don’t take care of your infrastructure and forests then they will burn or fall down. I honestly do not see how living like the amish is going to change the weather 😐

Reply to  Sunny
December 7, 2019 2:33 am

You don’t think CO2 in the atmosphere has any effect?

Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 2:42 am

None whatsoever.

B d Clark
Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 2:43 am

No loydo co2 does not play a part, forestry management does,forestry management changed world wide around 2000, now you need to do a crash course on forestry management to understand ,by hook or by crook” that’s a hint of were to start historically speaking.

Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 2:52 am


How had the earth greened so much?

You seriously think co2 is causing fires in one state and not other states? If climate change, Sorry weather is due to emissions, then why isn’t india on fire 😐 Go to any indian city and its pure exhaust gases, and coal fires yet they haven’t cooked to death or frozen to death.. The u.n started this co2 scam and not one single prediction has come true! They just asked for 29 billion dollars, after they had to give up first class flights 😐 If emissions are so bad, have you given up everything which has fossil fuels in it? Including your home hot water boiler, tv, car, computer, mobile phone, toilet, tapes (rubber seals) no public transport, even food wrapped in plastic? When are you going to live like the amish so you can save the planet 😐 Even david Attenborough has been caught lying twice now on his recent tv show, first about walruses and now polar bears hunting whales 😐 artic ice isn’t melting and Obama the “seas are rising” lier has just bought a ocean front mansion. Its constant lies and mass hypocrisy from you greens!!

Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 4:35 am

It makes the planet greener.

Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 5:06 am

“You don’t think CO2 in the atmosphere has any effect?”

Do you have any actual proof that it does?

Or just far-left agenda driven fantasy science.

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 7:15 am


CO2 is 0.04% of the atmosphere and reportedly has a minor role ( 9∞ to 26% if I recall it) in the so called greenhouse effect at its histoical levels. At the same time it drives evaporo-transpiration of the earth’s flora which is a powereful COOLING mechanism both directly and via cloud formation and also the stowing away of energy in the plant chemical bonds which is an very, very powerful energy storage mechanism. i.e. energy used to evaporate water and stowed in chemical bonds is energy that does not heat the planet.

So yeah CO2 in the atmosphere certainly does have ‘an effect’ which is the aggregate of a number of mechanisms not just the one that suits a certain catstrophe obsessed narrative.

You will note that the various effects offset each other and are capable of maintaining a balance over time. Given the earth’s longevity and know huge fluctuations in CO2 levels, it seems far more likely that a balancing system is in play and not some one way to catastrophe effect confected by a bunch of baby boomer former acid heads desperately clutching at notoriety to maintain their egotistical narcissism.

Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 12:00 pm

CO2 makes plants grow faster and use less water. That’s about the only affect.
Climate is still within norms for the last 10000 years.

Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 3:09 am

Loydo, my son is a volunteer rural fire fighter in the state of NSW, Australia. He has recently been fighting fires in northern NSW where many homes have been lost. He and fellow fire fighters are risking their lives because the ‘greens’ put a hold on regular ‘cool burns’. Australia’s indigenous aboriginal communities have practiced controlled fires in the Australian bush for thousands of years. These controlled burns minimise the damage to the environment and the animals living there. We have always had fires and we have always had droughts.

A cool burn is conducted in winter and if it is done on a regular basis the damage to flora and fauna is kept to a minimum. If ‘fuel’ reduction fires are not conducted the scrub here grows quickly, it is thick and it is tall. Hot dry conditions, normal in Australian summers dry out the scrub very quickly. If the fuel is allowed to accumulate then the fires are fierce, hot and deadly. Many animals don’t have time to escape and because there are more people now, more homes are lost.

Climate Change has nothing to do with the fires that are raging through NSW, arsonists are lighting many of them, humans starting fires accidentally is also a major contribution.

The biggest tragedy is that the greens have so much power, and in their ignorance they are killing so much more wildlife and contributing to the destruction of homes and property.

You should be ashamed of yourself for making assumptions about a subject you have little understanding of, my son is risking his life because of the likes of you!

Tom Foley
Reply to  Megs
December 7, 2019 4:52 pm

Where I live we’ve been having hot dry conditions year round. But we are not at risk of fire because there is nothing much left to burn, the ground is bare. There are a few red gums along the river banks, but there is not the density to carry a big hot fire.

So, if C02 has contributed to the drought, it has also reduced the fire risk!

Reply to  Tom Foley
December 7, 2019 5:54 pm

We live in the Central West Tom, it’s much the same here, our paddocks are small and not much more than dust. The certainly alot more fuel up in the far north east of NSW.

Reply to  Megs
December 8, 2019 12:03 am

” the ‘greens’ put a hold on regular ‘cool burns”

Bulldust Megs, they’d need to be the government to do that. According to the firies, a lack of funding and a reducing window of opportunity (ironically caused by climate change) are the only things preventing more cool burns. ‘

Reply to  Loydo
December 8, 2019 1:36 am

What about the fire trails that were closed by the greens, the areas that were bulldozed in the national parks to keep out the public. Those trails became overgrown and impassable. At the time the greens claimed the trails were closed for environmental reasons, they had been used by cycle and trailbike riders. This use kept the trails open and the National Parks were enjoyed by many, now they are exclusion zones for all but pedestrians, or they have or will be burned out.

Why are you so full of hate Loydo? It’s you that is the denialist. I don’t mind a debate but I won’t respond to a hateful rant.

Decisions aren’t all about Federal or even State governments. Our country is over governed and the councils yield significant powers here too. All levels of government here have been infiltrated by greens at every level, they just don’t wear there true colours. We don’t always get what we vote for here.

Reply to  Megs
December 8, 2019 1:58 am

” the fire trails that were closed by the greens”

Which fire trail and closed by who?

Reply to  Megs
December 8, 2019 4:44 am

The greens own website outlines there stupid policy …. why don’t you actually read it

Many of the actual firefighters have posted on ridiculous fuel loads that have built up because of environmental authorities it is not a hard search try it.

Reply to  LdB
December 8, 2019 6:21 pm

LdB thanks for the link, unbelievable! It’s pretty much a wishlist, impossible to implement and
totally contradictory.

In trying to cover every possible scenario they would never be sure of the best outcome, all those words and they left out common sense.

Reply to  Megs
December 8, 2019 8:26 pm

So no fire trail and no name just a bit of blather, and the policy at that link says:

3. Hazard reduction, including manual, mechanical and hazard reduction burning activities should be strategically planned


9. Firefighting services in NSW need support, supplementation and additional resources. In particular, local government needs to be provided with additional resources and finances to enable the proper implementation of its responsibilities with regard to the assessment and implementation of hazard reduction strategies;

So even when you agree, it’s the greenies so you can’t – but not because of substance. The zombie myth that “greens” are to blame for the lack of reduction burning is refuted by their actual policy but the lie fits an ideological narrative, so you ignore that its an unjust lie. Forget the fact that they’re not even in charge of the portfolios. Asking for evidence of wild claims is not hating.

Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 4:19 am

So I guess that Loydo never gets out and hikes the woodlands or observes first hand how much fire fuel there is available in a dry season IF IT IS NOT CLEARED OUT.

Overcrowded vegetation not only depletes gases (such as CO2) necessary to plant growth, so that subadult plants lack the ability to grow and thrive, but also depletes soil nutrients necessary to plant growth, such as nitrogen and water. Spindly trunks on trees in a heavily wooded area is a sign that the woodland is overcrowded and needs to be thinned. Ditto open areas: crowd the plants and let the weeds thrive and the soil looses nutrients that are needed by growing plants.

When you have a load of trash plants (weeds) that serve no purpose other than taking up cropland, they deplete nutrients in the soil and contribute nothing to it. Thistles and teasel are good examples of that.

I have a difficult time trying to understand why anyone would object to a farmer burning weeds in a controlled burn, which happens here frequently in the spring, or doing whatever is necessary to get that botanical crap out of croplands.

Tom Foley
Reply to  Sara
December 7, 2019 6:27 pm

‘Overcrowded’ vegetation is just a stage in vegetation succession, or maybe the final stage (ie in dense forest). Vegetation managed fine for millions of years without humans thinning the dense growth.

Weeds are just successful plants that we humans think are in the wrong place. Why object to burning weeds? There may be better ways to return their nutrients to the soil.


Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 11:44 am

Who says? The scientists who study forests.
Who says? The historians who have studied the history of fires.
Who says? The aborigines who have been living and working with that environment for thousands of years.
Who says? The locals who have been complaining about the build up of fuel due to a lack of control fires.

Reply to  Loydo
December 7, 2019 12:56 pm

Loydo exposes his own disingenuity.

A group whose public statements are being widely quoted in the mass-media cannot be said to be “gagged”. Not with the slightest degree of honesty.

The reality is that these are a bunch of former fire-bureaucrats who are desperately trying to avoid being held accountable for a situation that developed ON THEIR WATCH!

Those of us who actually face these fires, are saying that we need solutions that work RIGHT NOW, or at least, within the next ten years. There is no scenario in which any number of magic windmills will reduce fires within our lifetimes.

Everything that we observe, every bit of research by fire scientists – INCLUDING THAT ADOPTED AS DOCTRINE BY THESE SAME FIRE-BUREAUCRATS – tells us that fuel is the one key factor under our control. It IS at historically high levels and the more the climate-hysterics insist that the weather is going to get worse, the more responsibility they have for not managing the environment to reduce fire risk.

But I’m not a bureaucrat…. just a bloke who has been going to fires for 40 years and is sick of seeing our ranges black from horizon to horizon. Don’t talk to me about “caring” when you let this happen. 😡

Reply to  PeterW
December 8, 2019 12:11 am

PeterW exposes his own poor reading comprehension.

They were gagged while they were commisioned officers, now retired they are free to speak.

“a bunch of former fire-bureaucrats…”, “Those of us who actually face these fires…”

Uh huh, you don’t think these guys have actually faced fires? No of course not. Who’d think that a fire chief has ever faced a fire. SMFH.

Tom Foley
Reply to  PeterW
December 8, 2019 1:12 am

I’ve just checked one of these ‘fire-bureaucrats’, Bob Conroy. In 2017 he was presented with a Long Service and National Medals for his volunteer bushfire fighting: just 49 years. Now it’s 2019, so that’s 51 years.


He and others are able to speak publically now that they have retired. But I suspect he had been saying exactly the same thing to his superiors, and when he became a fire-boss, to politicians, over that 50 years. He was ignored then, just as he is being ignored now. Check the other guys on-line; I bet they have all done the hard-yards on the fire front. I suspect you’d get along with him, and find some common ground in being sick of the black ranges…and being ignored.

Reply to  Tom Foley
December 8, 2019 4:30 am

His own words are in the second article and he speaks about his personal belief and how he came to the view.

There is no science in that view just his gut feeling and belief.

Reply to  LdB
December 8, 2019 10:40 pm

Mullins is a Northern Beaches boy who returned to the Terry Hills brigade when he retired. Then when the opportunity came up for him to join Climate Council he jumped at it (thanks for another good link). That must have been in recent years.

It all makes sense. I moved to the country six months ago after living in the Northern Beaches for 39 years. I actually lived about six kilometers from Terry Hills.

You know how it’s been proven that the world has ‘greened’ significantly in the last decade or so and likely it was due to increased CO2. This was obvious in the Northern Beaches before all this became a ‘thing’. The whole peninsula is leafy to the extreme and has adjoining National Parks. The canopy had become huge and lush (which is why rooftop solar systems are a waste of time), like driving down the street through a tunnel in places.

Sounds lovely doesn’t it, and it was until around five years ago. That’s when the greens started to become particularly active, and invasive. They of course became council members and developed power and influence. Our state energy and environment minister Rob Stokes is a Northern Beaches boy. The independent who unseated Tony Abbott (Zali Steggle) is a Northern Beaches girl. Both of them have very ‘green’ values, the community living on the Northern Beaches have a large ‘green’ following.

The ‘greens’ know that they could never win government in there own right, but they also know the candidates who share their values, regardless of where they sit politically. I fear there are plenty to choose from.

It became unbearable living there, what with the CC hysteria and Getup around every corner spreading hate and division. They were responsible for Tony Abbott losing his seat, and his replacement has done nothing.

I didn’t live too far from the Rural Bush Fire Brigade where Tony Abbott has been an active firefighter for more than fifteen years, he has in fact been fighting recent fires. He was also a volunteer with the Surf Life Savers and spent time with indigenous communities every year.

Sorry I went off topic, this was my verbose way of explaining why the greens have so much power. They are putting legislation in place by proxy, legislation that we didn’t vote for.

There’s simply more bush, which is only a problem because there’s more people! People are either lighting fires or getting in the way of them. We need to get back to plain common sense.

Tom Foley
Reply to  Megs
December 9, 2019 3:21 am

Megs. So the northern beaches of Sydney have greened. But two-thirds of NSW, west of the mountains, has browned; not much green to be seen. In my town, the kangaroos are coming into our gardens, grazing on the tiny patches of green under the four fruit-trees I’m struggling to keep alive. No lawn left, just red sand.

So when proving the world is greening, which counts more, a green narrow coastal strip, or a huge expanse of inland red sand?

Reply to  Tom Foley
December 9, 2019 5:26 am

We’ve had this discussion Tom. As I said, I now live in the Central West, yes it is dry and bleak. I too have the roos coming to nibble on what little they might find.

Tom Foley
Reply to  Megs
December 9, 2019 7:01 am

You didn’t answer the question. Why does a greener northern beaches provide evidence for a greening world? Why doesn’t a browned western NSW provide evidence against a greening world?

Could it be that the local council is watering the street trees that are so lush? Or just that there are more trees anyway, planted by council along streets and in parks, and by householders in their gardens? Just human action, not the effect of more CO2?

December 6, 2019 10:41 pm

”It’s only going to get worse.”
Somehow I don’t think they have the slightest idea if it’s going to ”get worse”. It’s drought that is the problem and ”global warming” does not cause drought. To me these maps show (if anything) that the last few decades are slightly wetter than those before. I see more blue from 1950 to present than from 1900 to 1950. So much for climate change (warming) causing more fire.

December 6, 2019 10:44 pm

Leading scientists?

December 6, 2019 10:47 pm

The fire brigade can conduct clearance of land to create fire breaks but are then required to put everything back, at their cost, when the fire risk has passed. Dumb, yes?

Patrick MJD
December 6, 2019 10:57 pm

Yes, it’s all due to climate change, nothing to do with decades of bushland mismanagement and environmental and sustainability rules that lead to bush fires that we have seen this year.

Jail or $50,000 fines for clearing fire load on your own land!!


Lets not talk about the elephant in the room; Arsonists! Over 80% of the fires started this year were started by accident (Yeah right!) or by arsonists. 7 fires were started by a “Fireie” (A volunteer to help put out fires).

Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 6, 2019 11:54 pm

When I was young (70’s) you never ever heard of fires being deliberately started. Now a large proportion are (because more people are mentally unstable). I wonder if this is considered when looking a statistics showing more frequent fires????

Reply to  Mike
December 7, 2019 12:37 am

There have always been pyromaniacs who start fires for the fun of it – I limit myself to bonfires but I can see the temptation.

Some years ago though, I saw a fire started by carelessness: I was just driving by my pony field when an old boy who had been standing by the gate threw his cigarette butt in before wandering off. It was autumn and there were long dry grass stalks, they caught fire instantly and it spread along the side of the field. I vaulted the gate and grabbed a bucket and managed to put it out – the rest of the vegetation was luckily too damp to catch – but it made me realise how easily fires can be started by chance.
The old boy then came wandering back and asked about getting some horse manure for his garden – he did not get a very polite response!

Reply to  Mike
December 7, 2019 12:50 am

The cynic in me asks if any of these “mentally unstables” are climate activists trying to “assist” their arguments a little bit. Surely not!

Evidence from Australia and the US (and to a lesser extent in the UK) is that fires in 95% of cases have a direct or indirect human cause, not necessarily deliberate, and that the misguided ecological obsession with not managing forests and moorland only ever makes things worse.

The peak season for fires in the UK has long been Spring when the previous season’s dead wood is vulnerable. I can’t answer for anywhere else but for sure “climate change” has damn all to do with it. It can be 0°C and brush will burn if you put a match to it!

Tom Foley
Reply to  Mike
December 7, 2019 10:42 pm

When I was young (1940s-50s) we built bonfires for Empire Day, and lit grass fires. We were not unaware of bushfires, this was Sydney; I remember smoke from fires in the mountains to the west blocking out the sun, and it was common to go on a Sunday drive to look at the damage. But that seemed far removed from grass fires in the local park. I think kids who light fires don’t connect their action (it’s fun) with consequences. Adults however have serious problems especially where people who up join fire brigades light fires

B d Clark
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 7, 2019 12:47 am

Its completely disgusting the way the sheahans have been treated ,its also a excellent example of how knee jerk environmental policys are not thought through,with little regard for people and property.

December 6, 2019 11:08 pm

Climate scientists (TM) don’t know that bushfires are not climate caused. They do not know the effect of fuel load on bushfires. They do not know that large parts of the Blues Mountains are inaccessible to vehicles. They do not know that putting firefighters into those parts by shank’s pony would only bring a worse death toll.

Reply to  lee
December 7, 2019 5:03 am

apart from the cruel deaths and misery to the animals Id let the whole bloodyl ot burn and tidy the place up.

anyone else noticing we do NOT have bad fires uplands vic where the remaining brumbies the greetards wanna kill for good have eaten the trash down

paul rossiter
December 6, 2019 11:16 pm

“In my opinion Climate scientists who try to take advantage of a problem which is obviously not climate related are simply exposing their activism and lack of objectivity.”

They certainly are, but they are the ones getting all the press coverage, so that is what the ignorant readers/viewers believe and they are the ones that will apply pressure to the government.

There doesn’t seem any way to get corresponding air time for a more impartial point of view.

December 6, 2019 11:16 pm
December 6, 2019 11:17 pm

Follow the money. All these alarmist “scientists” care about is their funding, which will cease when the climate change scam finally ends.

December 6, 2019 11:49 pm

I’m in NSW,

I have friends fighting these fires.

The overwhelming comments are of the extreme fire load due to lack of burn-off, and the strong blustery winds.

The State Governments have to spend proper amounts of time and money making sure their Nation Parks are not tinder-boxes of overladen underbrush just waiting for these conditions to come along.

The rules brought in basically ensure that proper burn-offs through the colder months can very rarely happen as needed. That is what needs to change

Yes we are in drought, but this is because of the cool oceans above and below Australia, but drought is a very regular occurrence, and there have been worse droughts in the past.

The blustery winds are because of the meandering jet stream.

None of this is to do with man’s fossil fuel use.

Reply to  fred250
December 7, 2019 1:59 am

I too have fire-fighting friends. They are not exactly happy that gum trees (ie, the ones that burn) have been planted along the main highway here. Somehow, someone has to get across the simple message that bushfires are all about fuel.

Serge Wright
December 7, 2019 12:24 am

This rather untimely record was set a few days ago during the fires but wasn’t reported until now. And of course we know this is just weather because record cold = weather & record heat = CC 🙂


Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Serge Wright
December 7, 2019 1:48 am

That is what Climate Desperadoes call Climate Weirding.

December 7, 2019 12:53 am

FICTION: “Here we are in the worst bushfire season we’ve ever seen, the biggest drought we’ve ever had”.

FACT: ‘On Black Thursday, 6 February 1851, Fires covered a quarter of what is now Victoria (approximately 5 million hectares). Areas affected include Portland, Plenty Ranges, Westernport, the Wimmera and Dandenong districts. Approximately 12 lives, one million sheep and thousands of cattle were lost’

‘Though often thought of as one long drought, until the record dry year of 1902 the period was actually one of a number of very dry spells interspersed with short wetter weather. Dry conditions gradually became established during the late 1890s and several dry areas joined together to create the end result of a drought covering more than half the continent.’

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 7, 2019 2:02 am

nicholas tesdolf

Clearly, Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, a climate scientist with the University of NSW’s Climate Change Research Centre and her team have never heard of Google, or weather records 😐 It amazes me how blind and uneducated these so called “climate scientists” are.

December 7, 2019 1:18 am

“The reason, of course, is just like in the USA the Aussie bushfires are a forest mismanagement issue, not a climate change issue”
Well put! Succinct and to the point.

My 2 cents

The explanation of the oddity that all climate impacts are bad, that all bad things are climate impacts, and that in the science of climate impacts there is no good impact and no attribution failure in the face of large uncertainties is that climate science is not unbiased and objective scientific inquiry but agenda driven to provide the rationale needed for a pre-determined climate action agenda. The climate action agenda is not made to fit the science but rather it is the science that has to fit the climate action agenda.


December 7, 2019 2:14 am

Eric, you closed the post with, “In my opinion Climate scientists who try to take advantage of a problem which is obviously not climate related are simply exposing their activism and lack of objectivity.”

To many people, climate scientists who try to take advantage of a problem which is obviously not climate related are exposing their ignorance, and it’s causing people not only to ignore the false messages but to laugh at the climate-science messengers.


Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 7, 2019 5:08 am

hi Eric didya hear the shrill 18yr old featured on abc science show this arvo?

Mark Broderick
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 7, 2019 3:27 pm

A real circus ? Oh, you mean the “Shifty Shift Show” ! lol

Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 7, 2019 8:48 pm

100% Correct Bob the over the top claims has taken the field to joke status with the public. Then you add in the agenda they are pushing with emission control is dead that emissions are going to keep rising in the future why bother even thinking about it. It has all the same hallmarks of worrying about nuclear weapons, those countries with them are never going to give them up so why dwell on it.

Ian H
December 7, 2019 2:17 am

The Sudden Stratospheric warming event in the SH has sent the westerly wind belt well north of their normal position for this time of the year making it dry overland strong westerly winds not normal for late Spring and early summer plus high fuel load and drought. AGW theory states the westerly wind belt will go further south, the exact opposite to what is occurring!

December 7, 2019 2:34 am

Land Socialism: Playing With Fire
Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.

How fashionable it is to love nature. Down with industry, development, internal-combustion engines, clear cutting, strip malls, and private ownership. Capitalists do nothing but ravage the beauty of mother earth. The hand of man only strangles and kills.

If you agree with the above, you will love the fires that have driven half a million people from their homes in California, and destroyed 1,200 houses.

President Bush is dumping your money in the form of aid on these suffering souls, and the flames rage on.

In these wretched infernos that consume civilization, we see the truth about nature. It is beautiful when it is controlled and owned and put to our use. When it is left to its own devices, it is mean, dangerous, cruel, and often thoroughly evil. It is, as Albert Jay Nock said, the enemy.

The fires force us to choose. We thrive and rule nature, or nature rules and eats us alive. The tendency nowadays is to believe we can have it both ways.

What went wrong? The problem is in the theory of environmentalism. Under it, ownership is the enemy. Nature is an end in itself. So it must be owned publicly, that is, by the state. The state, in its management of this land, must not do anything to it. There must not be controlled burning, brush clearing, clear cutting, or even tourism. We can admire it from afar, but the work of human hands must never intervene.
Then the brush begins to gather. It piles higher and higher. Old growth rots. Uncontrolled growing leads to crowding. When the weather gets hot the stuff combusts. Then the winds blow and the fires spread. It’s been the same story for several decades now, ever since the loony theory that nature should be left alone took hold.


December 7, 2019 2:43 am

These fires are being lit by people and many are being charged. Temperature does not start a fire.

December 7, 2019 3:41 am

How did global warming become climate change become fires. Except for one particular day the rest of the temperatures for the last few months in NSW have been pretty average to cold whilst in Victoria we had a very moderate Spring followed by an extremely cold start to December. It’s not the climate that’s changed but the fuel load. Fires need a spark to start and fuel to burn neither of which had anything to do with the climate.
The other thing that always gets lost in these ridiculous claims is how is CO2 reduction going to stop fires. What is the evidence of the causal link. It’s about everything but the science and the data and all about the politics and zealotry.

Reply to  Zigmaster
December 7, 2019 11:37 am

Don’tyou know that the magical CO2 molecule can cause spontaneous combustion? Must be true – I read it on the Internet.

Andy Mansell
December 7, 2019 4:34 am

My nephew was asking about this the other day, basically saying it must be true because so many people say it is, so I came up with this analogy; There’s a man in the village, say Mr A, that nearly everyone seems to hate because he’s quite successful and a bit of a show off, so any perceived wrong doing by him quickly gains traction even if he has done nothing and knows nothing about it, but not many people are really interested. Then, there’s a murder locally and the victim is someone that Mr A has been seen arguing with and was known to strongly dislike Mr A. There is a little flimsy evidence that supports the theory that Mr A just could be responsible- this is much too great a chance to pass up, so before you know it this group of people are telling everyone who will listen that Mr A is guilty of murder and demanding that he be arrested. It appears in the local paper which is run by the same group of people and as time passes and little is seen to be done they get more hysterical, asking if anyone is safe, etc. Then, Mr B is arrested on strong evidence and instead of celebrating such good news, this group is distraught because the person that they really wanted to be guilty is in fact innocent, and instead of accepting the truth they double down on their attempts to prove that the empirical evidence is wrong and that their ‘feelings’ are the only thing that matters- they feel him to be guilty of this and all sorts of other bad things. Sadly for them, most of the world doesn’t care, so they become more and more hysterical in their claims and begin to resort to extreme measures to prove their point and although Mr A is quite innocent, more and more people start to distance themselves from him just in case- the precautionary principle. His life is ruined to no good purpose and as a result he closes his businesses and thus lots of people directly and indirectly lose their jobs, but this doesn’t matter just so long as Mr A is fixed good and proper!

Feel free to amend if I’ve missed anything?

Reply to  Andy Mansell
December 7, 2019 12:08 pm

Not just an analogy to climate alarmism, but it’s a tale of socialism in general.

December 7, 2019 5:26 am

If only the Australian bush had evolved to burn. If that were the case we could relax and realize it’s just another boring bushfire season.

John Hutton
December 7, 2019 5:31 am

“The reason, of course, is just like in the USA the Aussie bushfires are a forest mismanagement issue, not a climate change issue.”

Where is the studies and science that supports this claim?

Yours is just unsubstantiated, unscientific and irresponsible conjecture.

Meanwhile, Australia burns.

B d Clark
Reply to  John Hutton
December 7, 2019 5:54 am

Just how much of a scientific study do you need to work out dead wood and vegetation burn?

Reply to  John Hutton
December 7, 2019 5:57 am

“Meanwhile, Australia burns.”

You’re deeply unbalanced and grossly exaggerate.

If Australia was a human body the amount burning would be less than its big toe nail you absurd hysteric.

B d Clark
Reply to  John Hutton
December 7, 2019 6:13 am
Bruce Cobb
Reply to  John Hutton
December 7, 2019 6:37 am

The extraordinary claim that “climate change” is to blame for the increase in brush fires is the claim that requires extraordinary proof. And your “meanwhile, Australia burns” is merely a pathetic Appeal to Emotion.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
December 7, 2019 8:40 pm

Correct and the politicians have easily majority support which is why it isn’t an issue except to the 10% green voters and 5% of inner city latte drinkers.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  John Hutton
December 7, 2019 6:50 am

I have a Ph.D. colleague who told me that forest fires in central Europe are caused by climate change. Not believing him, I began a search for published studies backing up his statement. Lo and behold, in about 30 seconds of a google search I had peer-reviewed studies informing me that wild fires in Austria have grown more common since the mid nineteenth century.

Forest management experts in Oregon tell me that mismanagement is the root cause of dry forests and forest fires there. You can google these studies.

Once trees become an economic resource the smaller fires that manage underbrush and fuel load are suppressed leading to a growing problem of great fires. It was true in the upper midwest, and mountain west of the U.S. by the 1890s-1920s. It’s true in Europe. Do some research.

In fact increasing tree density and undergrowth drought stress trees even when precipitation is increasing as forest canopy can prevent rainfall from reaching the ground surface and allows it to evaporate instead.

Yours is just unsubstantiated, unscientific and irresponsible conjecture.

No, yours is. Yours contributes to the problem.

Tom Foley
Reply to  Kevin kilty
December 8, 2019 1:23 am

“In fact increasing tree density and undergrowth drought stress trees even when precipitation is increasing as forest canopy can prevent rainfall from reaching the ground surface and allows it to evaporate ”

That must explain why dense rain-forests are so dry.

Kevin kilty
December 7, 2019 6:23 am

For those scientists who are so “bewildered” why the politicians will not heed their advice to immediately begin the “ghost dance” against CO_2, or more properly against combustion, we should explain to them that programs to upend societies, enrich the elite and impoverish the hoi polloi usually have to be implemented through deception, lies, manipulation, bribery and corruption. In fact, these policies, always stated to save someone or something, usually end up being implemented through oppression and violence, but always have to be maintained and enforced through oppression and violence. It takes a bit of time to recruit sufficient numbers of thugs into the new program.

But I suspect they already know this, and are not really “bewildered.”

Maira Kellers
December 7, 2019 7:06 am

Who is setting most of the fires, because very few are caused naturally. Climate activists?

Insufficiently Sensitive
December 7, 2019 8:04 am

Leading scientists have expressed concern about the lack of focus on the climate crisis

Who are they ‘leading’? Likely not those scientists interested in inquiry and rational analysis of observations. More likely, the celebrity worshippers in the ‘news’ media who do their best to steer public opinion.

Mike McHenry
December 7, 2019 8:23 am

I did a search of the NY Times digital archive aka TimesMachine. I used the terms fires Australia and drought Australia 1920-1980. I got 3000 hits for the former and 2000 for the latter. BTW if do drought California you get almost 11000 hits

Bruce Cobb
December 7, 2019 9:25 am

Climate Scientists Bewildered
Climate/Skeptics/Realists Amused
Film at 11.

Gerald Machnee
December 7, 2019 9:31 am

I would like to see a live demonstration by Loydo and the climate scientists of climate change starting a fire. A video of the demonstration would be helpful. that way we would have an eye witness report for the media.

Hokey Schtick
December 7, 2019 9:37 am

The bogeyman global average temperature has gone up, what, a few hundredths of a degree, in the last 20 years.

So how in heck could this suddenly cause massive fires?

Bewildered? Here, I can help with that. Try unplugging your perpetual-grant machine and get out more.

Not even wrong, hey Mosh.

December 7, 2019 12:58 pm

Former PM Malcolm Turnbull while FLYING into Sydney tweeted that ‘the bushfire smoke shrouding Sydney reinforces the need to move towards zero emissions.’ Meanwhile, the PM he knifed, Tony Abbott, was in the midst of the Gospers Mt. fire in his capacity as a volunteer fire-fighter.

4 Eyes
Reply to  snikdad
December 7, 2019 4:32 pm

Saying this like that while flying, not in coach class, is why is he FORMER PM. He doesn’t get it.

December 7, 2019 1:17 pm

If only politicians would listen to the scientists:
Trump Science Advisor Will Happer Says Global Warming Is a ‘Scam’

George Cross
December 7, 2019 4:36 pm

Stupidity and mismanagement are the major contributors to fire severity and drought. I did hear that the greens were preventing the water bombers from filling up locally causing longer flight times and considerably greater cost.

Bruce of Newcastle
December 7, 2019 9:26 pm

Seeing that the current conditions are quite like the Federation Drought of 1895-1903 it’s not entirely surprising that pollies aren’t listening.

The Federation Drought, after all, occurred even before Al Gore did his movie. Maybe he needs to back date his book to 1885 using a Tesla pickup and a 1.81 GW flux capacitor.

December 10, 2019 10:51 am
December 10, 2019 8:57 pm

Tax-funded TV presenter badgers politician to agree there is a direct link between Climate Change and the bush-fires. The politician sensibly declines.

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