NYT: Australia is Committing Climate Suicide

h/t Grant Griffiths – The New York Times thinks leaders are ignoring the Australian people’s demand for climate action – despite voters electing a Conservative government last May.

Australia Is Committing Climate Suicide

As record fires rage, the country’s leaders seem intent on sending it to its doom.

By Richard Flanagan

Mr. Flanagan is a novelist.

Jan. 3, 2020

BRUNY ISLAND, Australia — Australia today is ground zero for the climate catastrophe. Its glorious Great Barrier Reef is dying, its world-heritage rain forests are burning, its giant kelp forests have largely vanished, numerous towns have run out of water or are about to, and now the vast continent is burning on a scale never before seen

The fires have already burned about 14.5 million acres — an area almost as large as West Virginia, more than triple the area destroyed by the 2018 fires in California and six times the size of the 2019 fires in Amazonia. Canberra’s air on New Year’s Day was the most polluted in the world partly because of a plume of fire smoke as wide as Europe. 

And yet, incredibly, the response of Australia’s leaders to this unprecedented national crisis has been not to defend their country but to defend the fossil fuel industry, a big donor to both major parties — as if they were willing the country to its doom. While the fires were exploding in mid-December, the leader of the opposition Labor Party went on a tour of coal mining communities expressing his unequivocal support for coal exports. The prime minister, the conservative Scott Morrison, went on vacation to Hawaii.

In no small part Mr. Morrison owes his narrow election victory last year to the coal-mining oligarch Clive Palmer, who formed a puppet party to keep the Labor Party — which had been committed to limited but real climate-change action — out of government. Mr. Palmer’s advertising budget for the campaign was more than double that of the two major parties combined. Mr. Palmer subsequently announced plans to build the biggest coal mine in Australia.

This posture seems to be a chilling political calculation: With no effective opposition from a Labor Party reeling from its election loss and with media dominated by Rupert Murdoch — 58 percent of daily newspaper circulationfirmly behind his climate denialism, Mr. Morrison appears to hope that he will prevail as long as he doesn’t acknowledge the magnitude of the disaster engulfing Australia. 

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/03/opinion/australia-fires-climate-change.html

Are Australians concerned about climate change? Sure. But there is no evidence of an overwhelming demand for more climate action.

If climate action was a higher priority than say jobs and cost of living, the Australian people would have elected a party which promised to prioritise climate action, instead of electing a government which promised to prioritise economic growth and prosperity.

As for Clive Palmer, I don’t think Palmer and NYT’s claims that Palmer won the election for the Australian Conservatives are credible. At the time of the election in May, Clive Palmer was facing a massive public backlash over a dispute with workers regarding pay and entitlements at his financially troubled Nickel venture. Palmer reached a settlement to pay outstanding worker’s entitlements in August this year, well after the May election.

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Jimmy Haigh
January 5, 2020 2:12 am

The stupid! It burns!!

Reply to  Jimmy Haigh
January 5, 2020 2:55 am

I have this nagging suspicion that leftist greenies have been intentionally lighting forest fires for years now, just so they can scream climate change.

Am I the only one harboring this suspicion?

Reply to  Klem
January 5, 2020 3:51 am


Pop Piasa
Reply to  Disputin
January 5, 2020 8:28 am

I also suspect that those who lost the election sought to gain political support by setting the country afire. The US might just see that same sort of stupidity after this November.

Reply to  Klem
January 5, 2020 4:10 am

Almost all of the fires were started by people…on purpose….so no you’re not

Police close in on suspected fire arsonists
NSW Police could soon charge more than a dozen suspected arsonists allegedly responsible for deliberately lighting bushfires across the state.

At least 56 people have already been charged or cautioned with 71 bushfire-related offences since August.

There are 16 investigations underway into suspicious fires, amid one of the state’s worst bushfire crises.


Reply to  Klem
January 5, 2020 5:09 am


Reply to  Klem
January 5, 2020 12:00 pm

Weak political leadership has allowed Climate Change Activists to shape public policy. Forest and land management policies have allowed a dangerous build up of forest floor fuel. Greens have consistently opposed “cold burn” fire mitigation claiming it destroys the eco system. In response to environmental activists State governments have locked up State forests, allowed fire trails to grow over and fuel loads to increase to a point that the fire energy levels are beyond control once they ignite.

Something like fifty arsonists have been charged in relation to the current fire crisis.

Green activists are complicit if not directly responsible.

Jim in Newcastle
Reply to  Klem
January 6, 2020 5:42 pm


Peter K
Reply to  Klem
January 6, 2020 9:38 pm

“Climate Activist’s glue themselves to a busy road in Australia”.If you are stupid enough to glue yourself to the road, then you are stupid enough to start a bush fire in protest.

Reply to  Klem
January 11, 2020 2:10 am

Klem, more than 200 people in Australia have been charged with lighting bush fires in the past year.

Earl Jantzi
Reply to  Klem
January 16, 2020 5:40 pm

It’s not a suspicion, they have arrested 24 people for arson already.

Reply to  Jimmy Haigh
January 5, 2020 3:00 am

The reason why journalists are so mediocre today, versus journalists 70 years ago, is because all of the smart people have been routed into other fields. The journalists of 70 years ago literally didn’t go to college, but they were a heck of a lot smarter than journalists now. Academic sorting was primitive then. People who became journalists back then could have just as easily become professionals in a lot of other fields, whereas today no journalist could. Investigative journalism is pretty much extinct, in the “mainstream media” anyway. There are good bloggers out there and of course here. The thing is, they aren’t journalists according to journalists. They’re professionals, but not degreed in journalism.

Reply to  Luke
January 5, 2020 5:33 am

” Investigative journalism is pretty much extinct, in the “mainstream media” anyway.”

The old adage about never asking questions you don’t want to know the answers to comes to mind. “Journalists” don’t want anything to interfere with the narrative. Trvth over facts. And do I ever hate the post modern world.

Reply to  Severian
January 5, 2020 1:21 pm

Journalism student are taught by leftist activists and told that “journalism is activism”. Therefore, FAKE journalism in service of “the cause” … is noble and correct. Journalism is propaganda. Hence the monotheistic media of today.

Andy Espersen
Reply to  Luke
January 5, 2020 7:20 am

Yes, Mr Flanagan is a very mediocre journalist – who is commenting on Australian bushfires, a subject he obviously knows absolutely nothing about. He has never walked in an area of bush in springtime following a “devastating” Australian bushfire. Everything is lush, green and fertile, plants and flowers welling out of the ground, insects humming with life. No impediment for walking : you walk freely and easily for miles in a green, beautiful forest.

This is Australia at its healthiest best, namely immediately after a big fire. A large part of the present ecology of this mighty continent has been shaped by, is dependent on bushfires. The original Australians had the continent to themselves for 60,000 years – and practiced controlled burn-offs at all times. They sure never made their settlements way out in the bush, making sure to ban all fires so that masses of grasses and undergrowth would develop. ensuring a certain death to all during the eventual drought.

The terrible intensity of present fires is largely due to modern ignorance about the necessity of controlled burn-offs – coupled with a multitude of events of arson, simply overwhelming fire-services with sheer numbers.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Andy Espersen
January 5, 2020 7:54 am

We see this every year on the Great Plains. Large areas of native grasses are burned to create lush pasture. Within two weeks these areas are green again and native grasses and flowers are growing like crazy. Just like Oz, these areas were evolved over millennia with grass fires set both by lightning and native people.

Reply to  Andy Espersen
January 5, 2020 4:10 pm

Other issue is:

Many people choose to live in fire-prone, non-urban areas for aesthetic reasons or because of lower cost. So, just as people living ocean-side more at risk in hurricanes or tsunamis and people living on lush river flood plains suffer occasional flooding, these people suffer fires. Same phenomenon in the US West, especially California.

Reply to  Andy Espersen
January 5, 2020 5:25 pm

“The original Australians had the continent to themselves for 60,000 years – and practiced controlled burn-offs at all times.”

Controlled burn-offs? My guess is they set a fire and hoped for the best.

With a large population and thousands of homes and buildings to worry about, modern foresters/firefighters don’t have that luxury.
Controlling a burn is not easy and it’s not cheap.

Reply to  Snape
January 6, 2020 9:40 am

Modern foresters don’t exist in Australia.
They were all sacked when Green stupidity took over the management of Australia’s National parks and forests.
My son a 20 year PHD forestry veteran was sacked together with all his mates.
He currently works as a forester in PNG because there is NO work for foresters in Australia.

Reply to  Luke
January 5, 2020 8:32 am

And journalism schools, like teacher training schools, have been coopted by the leftists to skew the output of influencers to their benefit. While we, pragmatic and sensible doers of what needs to be done were too focused on the job at hand to notice.

Reply to  Richard
January 5, 2020 4:28 pm

correct Richard – a few years ago I bumped an ex-student in a supermarket nearby a major Sydney uni and he wasn’t very happy with the degree in media studies he was undergoing – he said ‘the course is so left wing’.

Chris Gillham
Reply to  Luke
January 5, 2020 6:03 pm

I started working in the print and radio media from 1979 and Luke is mostly correct.

The demise of journalism is largely tied to declining rates of literacy due to the advent of teachers with poor subject knowledge for the past 50 years, combined with a media preference for lifestyle entertainment stories (aka celebrities, the royal family, anything concerning babies or children, beautiful women, a diet breakthrough, shark attacks, bushfires, anything heart-rending) and a reliance on iPhone footage delivering mostly irrelevant drama via pictures.

Stories containing data and facts about important and relevant issues don’t rate so are shunned or confined either to the 15 minute slot in a 30 minute bulletin or two to three of the 20 pages in a newspaper. There are commercial media exceptions when an important issue is also interesting, but the proportion of truly investigative stories is a fraction of what it used to be.

We nowadays live in a world of pictures, not words, and I mostly watch commercial TV news and read the press to stay abreast of what’s happening in Disneyland. It’s entertainment dressed up as news, and (most of it) is thus best described as fake news.

Reply to  Jimmy Haigh
January 5, 2020 7:08 am

Once again, the myth requires the faithful to believe that all problems are caused by CO2.

Reply to  MarkW
January 5, 2020 11:59 am

Central Otago’s cherry season is off to a bad start with rain damaging crops, cold temperatures slowing ripening and bad picking conditions driving workers away.

Tim Jones, who is Summerfruit New Zealand chairman and chief executive of Cromwell-based orchard 45 South, said the “tough” start to the season was one of the most challenging he had seen in his 25 years in the industry.


Other problems caused by CO2. Too cold

Reply to  Robertvd
January 5, 2020 1:01 pm

The next 10 days in Christchurch are not my kind of summer weather.


Reply to  MarkW
January 5, 2020 12:22 pm

Even more mythic because by the standards of AGW the Southern hemisphere has FAR less CO2 than the Northern.

January 5, 2020 2:16 am

If australia would have decresed their CO2 generstion by 100% the fires would still have been the same.

For liberals its very hard to understand that CO2 does not respect national borders one bit. In that case australia would burn and would have much less enonomical resourses to rebuild.

Its a gloabal thing and token CO2 reductions from first world countries have very little effect. As major developing countries are free to emit whatever they want.

This comment does not even go to the overestimation of CO2 sensitivity, but just points out the fundamental flaw in CO2 reduction reasoning. It quite worrying that this point is not often discussesd in MSM.

Reply to  Laplander
January 5, 2020 3:42 am

‘ much less enonomical resourses to rebuild ‘

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has given his official aircraft a brand new name after the jet received a $250million taxpayer-funded upgrade.

20 Billions on F35 !

11m on firefighting equipment

Reply to  Robertvd
January 6, 2020 2:19 am

It is a state responsibility to manage emergency services. The states spend a lot more than $11m, which amount was probably spent in places such as the Northern Territory where the Feds are responsible. But dont let facts get in the way of your politics.

Reply to  Laplander
January 5, 2020 5:51 am

That’s too subtle. How about …
Nothing Australia does will have the slightest effect on the climate.

Does Australia think that by being a boy scout it will influence China and India?

Reply to  Laplander
January 5, 2020 9:36 am

“For liberals its very hard to understand that CO2 does not respect national borders one bit.”

They could build a giant wall around the coast, a hundred kilometres high. Just think of all the jobs it would create.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Laplander
January 5, 2020 12:02 pm

All of those Australian brush fires should have caused an anthropogenic “spike” in atmospheric CO2 ppm in the month of December ….. and thus should have been detected by the Mauna Loa Observatory.

I wonder if NASA will report that “spike”?

a happy little debunker
January 5, 2020 2:24 am

Complaining that Rupert sells 58% of the papers sold, but owns only 23% of the mastheads should tell you how unwanted the alternatives actually are.

Where was Richard’s response to the 2013 fires that swept Tasmania where the Tasmanian Times (not Rupert) opined

“Politicians toured with TV cameras, pressed flesh and offered sympathies but they didn’t send logistics and communication experts, nor organise regular ferries to help residents to get supplies, nor did they implement any useful emergency telephone contacts for isolated residents who needed information. They didn’t provide needed food, or help for farmers whose stock were starving, neither did they assure that the various emergency plans that they claimed to have1, were actually implemented, nor that information was integrated, factual and distributed to everyone who needed it. They hadn’t even provided emergency responders with adequate maps and technologies to co-ordinate and respond most effectively to the disparate fires spreading around the peninsula.”

He was hunkered down on his Bruny Island getaway without a care in the world.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  a happy little debunker
January 5, 2020 4:15 pm

Rupert sells papers because Rupert understands what a ‘market’ is.

The accepted ‘right wing’ masthead in Australia is The Australian. Since Rupert knows that anyone who wants to read ‘right wing’ commentary is going to buy The Oz, his other editors are free to not compete against it and publish a variation of woke, social pages and sports results.

Papers like The Hun and the Telly (eastern state papers) tend to be a bit more centralist because their parent cities also have The Age and The Silly (the shameless Left ‘ex Fairfax’ mastheads). In South Oz (aka The Blackout State) there is only the Tiser. Since South Oz only has enough electricity to print one major daily there is no Fairfax paper and the Tiser editors are pretty woke. But, and this is the point, Rupert knows he can get away with this are anyone conservative is going to by The Oz.

All about understanding the market and providing buyers with what they want to read.

Fairfax didn’t understand this and wrote not what the market wanted to read, but what their writers and editors decided they needed to read. Went Woke, lost their market share, got taken over by Nine media.

Know your market.

Andy Espersen
Reply to  Craig from Oz
January 6, 2020 1:22 am

Exactly, Craig from Oz. These days mainstream media has that peculiar idea that journalists’ are meant to educate the public to the politically correct way of looking at things. So they deliberately report stuff in a biased way, some even openly stating that they will not publish opposing viewpoints to their liberal convictions.

This is completely against their confessed code of ethics which proudly boasts of Accuracy – Fairness – Balance.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Craig from Oz
January 7, 2020 3:47 am

When I was a teenager, two County papers were published weekly, ….. the Braxton Democrat and the Braxton Central.

No self-respecting Democrat would even pick up a “Braxton Central” paper, …. and likewise, no self-respecting Republican would even pick up a “Braxton Democrat” paper.

But, both papers were published by the same person, …. with the exact contents in both, ….. but different “mastheads”.

He knew his market.

January 5, 2020 2:24 am

“…the Australian people would have elected a party which promised to prioritise climate action,…”

From this Aussie – spot on!
We didn’t – get over it, like you need to get over the 2016 US election result!
If your head explodes because of this, think of it as evolution in action.

Reply to  Kneel
January 5, 2020 5:16 pm

The left/green 10% actually think the rest of us care what they think.

Ron Long
January 5, 2020 2:40 am

How ingrained in the psyche of the masses is this Anthropogenic Global Warming/Climate Change propaganda! The idea seems to be that if Australia, collectively, stopped all carbon dioxide generation, dramatically, overnight, that the climate would change back to some form of perfect, whatever that is. The same persons doing most of the howling give China and India a total pass to do whatever they want, because, you know, they are “emerging Nations”! And Trump, who they believe will do anything for another few bucks, is willing to destroy the future of humans, including his own family, to do so, even withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, which Agreement did actually nothing but is seen as a very important virtue-signaling event. The reason so many persons come to the Watts website is to breathe some fresh air for awhile.

Gerald Marquardt
Reply to  Ron Long
January 5, 2020 5:37 am

Ron Long—DITTO!!!

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Ron Long
January 5, 2020 9:29 am

The question is not whether Australia takes “action” on “climate change”.
Can those who do the howling actually prove what kind of action to take and what it will actually do.
The Prime Minister does not have the time to discuss with fools, but these fools are getting the press. And the press is the most ignorant today.

January 5, 2020 2:45 am

“Mr. Flanagan is a novelist.”

Says it all.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  saveenergy
January 5, 2020 3:11 am


January 5, 2020 2:48 am

I think most Australians understand that according to the laws of physics, molecules of CO2 don’t have flags or origin attached.

A country which emits less than 2% of the CO2 is the cause of bugger all of any CO2 related “stuff”.

January 5, 2020 3:13 am

From another Aussie
The current conservative government owes more to Bob Brown, the prominent Tasmanian radical greenie, than people realise. He took a caravan of Tasmanian and Victorian greenies to Queensland to campaign against Adani coal mines. To a region where unemployment is high and people want the mine to provide employment. Obviously they saw what a Labour/Green win would mean and expressed their anger at the ballot box.

Ironic that a rabid greenie won the election for the conservatives.

January 5, 2020 3:18 am

Typical of the bubble commentators, where journalists predicted that the Labor opposition would win hands down, fortunately the Liberal conservatives dumped their main liability Malcolm Turnbull AKA Turncoat or Mr Harborside Mansion as he was dubbed, the greenie hugging leftist corporate Lawyer who undermined his skeptical Leader by meeting with Clive Palmer at a clandestine breakfast, just before Palmer joined Al Gore in some joint skullduggery alliance and working to depose Tony Abbott a strong and skeptical conservative, that had been subjected to a Trump-like hate campaign assisted by hate fuelled Newspaper reports and the same from the ABC, a relentless campaign that eventually helped Turncoat to ride on that media campaign and with the help of Abbott’s consequential low media popularity polls wrench back the Prime Ministership. Malcolm of course dismally failed with worse polling as he and his inner circle of progressive leftists misunderstood what family conservatives voters most wanted in Australia, a strong conservative Government. The upset media elite had already constructed a hate campaign to keep Peter Dutton unpopular, so Scott Morrison won the top Job. The labor party didn’t learn the lesson they also ignored their own considerable number of family rusted on Labor voters, opting for the Union backed Bill Shorten who had great pretensions of grandeur in warding off a rump of greens in the hope of garnering the progressive vote and the false premises of intelligent higher education votes to build on the welded on Union voters with progressive Democrat like cossetting of refugees AKA illegal immigrants aided by Labor Lawyers.
The screaming bubble certainly had their way through the ABC and media, but fortunately the voters saw through than and elected the Scott Morrison conservative government.

The look on the media pundits faces that predicted a Labor (Democrat style Hillary victory) was a delight I will never forget as the voter results came in, nor should they forget the experience!! Oh and stupid Turncoat tried to nobble Scott Morrison and others with his clumsy retribution and is still doing it and of course the left wing Media is doing everything they can to find fault with Morrison after all President Trump actually liked him and his wonderful wife Jenny.

Reply to  KenB
January 5, 2020 2:54 pm

The lefty media totally ignore these facts: https://news.defence.gov.au/national/defence-boosts-bushfire-support Federal Government support has been generous and responsive. Instead knit they knit pick trying to sully the PM’s reputation.

January 5, 2020 3:21 am

Darn tried to edit, so posted, but no appearance yet, hope the registration process sorts that.

January 5, 2020 3:35 am

Australia is committing climate suicide instead of committing science suicide like they should

OMG OMG it’s the end of the world OMG


Pop Piasa
Reply to  chaamjamal
January 5, 2020 7:54 am

For sure, they are committing economic suicide embracing so-called renewables over conventional generation and cheap, reliable electricity.

January 5, 2020 3:37 am

It’s pretty clear from reading this gibberish that the last thing this person wants to be confronted with is a calculator but, presumably, the man can balance a bank account that is probably more complex than a quickie “climate action” calculation. What does this leave us with? a) Writing and getting published meaningless gibberish is a good individual virtue-siganaling tool? b) Vote for the political party that I identify with?

Anything else, because it sure as hell doesn’t have anything to do with climate, wildfires or the GBR?

January 5, 2020 3:47 am

Australia , a land of droughts and flooding rains.
Its happened before and it will happen again.
CO2 is of no consequence .

El Duchy
January 5, 2020 4:36 am

Fierce brush fires are nothing new in Australia. A quick check of newspaper archives reveals that similar events happened in 1837, 1896, 1905, 1926, 1939 and 1951 and 1952, just to name a few. There are many more instances of huge brush fires that took lives, acres of forest and many thousands of animal lives. The difference today is that there are more people living in danger areas, the old, dry foliage (fuel) is not cleared from the forest floor, fire breaks are not permitted in some areas and hysterical media coverage blaming Climate Change is 24/7. In 1837 the newspapers reported the fires would have been worse if the aboriginal peoples and white settlers hadn’t cleared ground.

Reply to  El Duchy
January 5, 2020 9:41 am

As I understand it, the aborigines were creating controlled burns for fifty thousand years. It’s only with the rise of ‘green’ nonsense that people stopped dealing with forest fires in a sensible manner.

Also, back in 1837, there probably weren’t hundreds of ‘greens’ setting fires deliberately for ‘climate change’.

John in Oz
Reply to  MarkG
January 5, 2020 1:16 pm

I doubt that they used ‘controlled burns’ as they had no way to enforce control.

Lighting a fire with the wind at your back then waiting for it to either burn out naturally or move past the immediate area so that you could gather burnt animals is not ‘control’.

There would have been aware, though, tha the Australian flora will regenerate quickly after a fire so a nomadic group would be able to return to the area later to repeat the process.

I am always willing to be corrected if someone has proof that the ancient aboriginals had fire appliances for ‘control’.

Paul of Alexandria
Reply to  John in Oz
January 5, 2020 4:33 pm

Any “controlled burn”, even today, is accomplished by controlling when and where the fire is set, not with fire-fighting equipment.

Clarky of Oz
Reply to  John in Oz
January 5, 2020 4:41 pm

I agree with John. While I have no qualifications in the field, my understanding is that they did use fire in a limited way to flush out game. Also they would have understood the impact of large scale fores and learned to exploit any benefits that came from such fires. To suggest they initiated such fires as a means of managing the forests on a large scale may be stretching it a bit too far.

Reminds me of a recently released book “Dark Emu” which made all sorts of claims about the farming and technology used by them. It was written by a gentlemen who claimed aboriginal heritage and the book won all sorts of acclaim. When it was discovered that his sources of information did not support his claims and that his claimed heritage was a little suspect (all four of his grandparents were English) it sort of died on the vine. It was interesting to read some of the “better educated” cultural types defending him though.

Reply to  Clarky of Oz
January 6, 2020 2:28 am

It is well and truly defended by the idiots in our education system. It has been put into our school syllabus as non-fiction. I think i would sue any teacher who used it that way. And its on a list of the 10 best non-fiction books for the last year.

Bill P.
January 5, 2020 4:51 am

The idea that a single country can suffer for that country’s “climate decisions” while everybody else looks on unscathed is a great example of why climate hysterics are the last people in the world who can credibly claim they’re “pro-science.”

Where is the evidence of China’s or India’s “climate suicide?”

January 5, 2020 5:03 am

Any time the NYT tells us something like this, we can almost always expect the opposite effect. All of this trouble Down Under is due to poor legislation to begin with. Adding more control and regulations will only make the next time far worse than this one.

Peter Morris
January 5, 2020 5:34 am

Australia has rain forests?

I learned something new today.

iain russell
Reply to  Peter Morris
January 5, 2020 7:18 am

25% of Australia’s land mass is tropical.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Peter Morris
January 5, 2020 12:08 pm

We have some of the oldest rainforests in the world

Reply to  Peter Morris
January 5, 2020 12:41 pm

The fire at Binna Burra, a Lodge near rainforest, was man made and did not take hold in the rain forest as such. The fire was in the Lodge’s surrounding sclerophyll eucalyptus forest.

Bro. Steve
January 5, 2020 5:57 am

If you don’t obey our Marxist diktat, something bad will happen!

<<something bad happens>>

See! We told you something bad would happen!

January 5, 2020 5:59 am

“liked” for the laugh it gave me.
what a load of bullshit

January 5, 2020 6:06 am

We’ve only just finished an election where we voted Morrison in. The noisy people are what the journalists look to. They are noisy but generally stupid.

lower case fred
January 5, 2020 6:08 am

That is the #1 All Time Dumbest headline. Even if you buy the alarmist position, Australia amounts to little more than a fart in a hurricane as far as global emissions go.

What does the NYT expect the Aussies to do? (Don’t tell me. Please, don’t tell me.)

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  lower case fred
January 5, 2020 9:32 am

It is not what small part Australia is, but has ANYBODY actually proved that emissions change the temperature? Maybe Loydo.

January 5, 2020 7:40 am

“>>> Mr. Flanagan is a novelist. <<<"

So, what can Mr. Flanagan possibly know about atmospheric and oceanic physics and chemistry? All he can (and does) peddle is more eco-fascist demagoguery. When you look closely at what is being said on this topic and by whom, generally, you'll find the most outrageous statements being made by people, like Mr. Flanagan, who do not have adequate science background at all, for example, AOC, Al Gore, and, of course, the NYT editors.

Reply to  Gus
January 5, 2020 8:10 am

I haven’t looked it up, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s a crap novelist. If he needs to supplement his income by being a climate parasite – hello, internet meet parasite.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  philincalifornia
January 5, 2020 10:50 am

Try searching “Flim-flam Flanagan”. 😎

Reply to  Gus
January 5, 2020 8:29 am

And Greta, don’t forget Greta, the new Joan of Arc.

Reply to  Pops
January 5, 2020 1:44 pm

Jehanne la Pucelle

“Arc” never existed, it might have been a flurid name for a part of countryside

Clarky of Oz
Reply to  Gus
January 5, 2020 4:12 pm

From Cambridge on line dictionary:

Novelist, noun, a person who writes novels.
Novel, noun, a long printed story about imaginary characters and events:

January 5, 2020 8:23 am

Since Australia’s ‘carbon-guilt’ is infinitesimal amongst the anthrocarbonization, which itself is infinitesimal in the global CO2 scheme of things, it would be more accurate for the otherwise faultless NYT to report that Australia is the victim of climate murder.

Or even more accurately, that Australia is committing bush land underbrush mismanagement suicide, as California has chosen to do.

Bob Weber
January 5, 2020 8:32 am

Its glorious Great Barrier Reef is dying Nope, no current alerts, so no bleaching, no dying.

comment image

and now the vast continent is burning on a scalethe fires were exploding in mid-December

Mid-December, very near the solstice, Australia is sub-solar, UV Index is extremely high



http://www.bom.gov.au/fwo/IDY00508.gif (current)

It’s drier than usual from less rain, a low TSI solar minimum influence. The worst Aussie fires happened in the summer and 4/5 of the top were during solar minimum years such as the last two years.

The fires fed by naturally sun-dried fuel baked under clear skies from high UVI.

January 5, 2020 8:54 am

Aborigines knew how to manage the landscape-

“Before Aboriginal people populated the Australian continent some 40,000 to 60,000 years ago, the major cause of fires would have been lightning. Aboriginal people learnt to harness the naturally recurring fire caused by lightning and other sources to their advantage, which resulted in skilful burning of landscapes for many different purposes.

Fire was used to:

make access easier through thick and prickly vegetation
maintain a pattern of vegetation to encourage new growth and attract game for hunting
encourage the development of useful food plants, for cooking, warmth, signalling and spiritual reasons.
Early European explorers and settlers commented on the Aboriginal people’s familiarity with fire, and the presence of fire in the landscape continually throughout the year. Most of the fires were relatively low intensity and did not burn large areas.

This constant use of fire by Aboriginal people as they went about their daily lives most likely resulted in a fine grained mosaic of different vegetation and fuel ages across the landscape.

As a result, large intense bushfires were uncommon.

Fire is a significant part of Aboriginal culture and the knowledge of its use has been retained by many Aboriginal families as their culture and values are shared between generations. Karla Wongi – Fire Talk is an interesting article that provides additional information.

The plants and animals themselves provide clues to the ubiquitous presence of fire.


Robert of Texas
January 5, 2020 12:15 pm

They left out:

…Toads are exploding into fireballs
….Roo’s are turning into brain-eating zomroos
…and cats are sleeping with dogs

I think that about covers the missing materials from this ridiculous “news” article.

January 5, 2020 12:21 pm

Pump out the groundwater, win stupid fires.

I *am* being sensitive. The Australian environment has never been able to support high density population and about 80% of its environmental problems are caused by intentional ignorance of environment that have nothing to do with the temperature of the air.

Every house, business or municipal building lost that had tar or plasticized shingles is now a monument to morons in government. The same crap happened in the Camp fire out around Paradise CA, people with huge flammable parched trees over largely firestorm brush directly over and around their houses got run down by ignorance of the environment in government enhanced fireball form. Very few structures that were up to modern code were lost unless they were hammered by the structures around them.

We’re seeing hundreds of videos of fire teams being endangered or surviving firestorms in Australia by their technology alone. Such deployments of manpower are *moronic* and incompetent. The military equivalent would be to use cavalry charges against incoming thermonuclear weapons. It is simply yet another proof that the government of Australia – A PRODUCT OF ITS POPULATION’S APATHY AND IGNORANCE – isn’t competent to scrub sidewalks.

High Treason
January 5, 2020 12:38 pm

Socialist state governments, especially in NSW created many new National Parks to lock up land. Livestock were not allowed to graze and you could not so much as pick up a stick without risking a massive fine. The extreme green motivated socialists would not allow back-burning because they did not want to disturb the animals, even though regular fires had become part of the landscape via the Aborigines. Undisturbed national parks are NOT true natural land-they are artificial and unsustainable environments.

With many years of debris, now bone dry, we all know what MUST happen, especially with arsonists around. An imam has called for fire jihad. Fire Jihad has already been done by flying incendiary kites in to Israel. Why do we tolerate this? If it turns out that any of the arson (85% of the fires have been shown to be acts of arson) is politically or religiously motivated, the full weight of the law must fall upon them. FULL compensation must be payable by the motivating body, ie, the political group or religious body must pay for every shed and house burned down, every farm animal killed, restitution for the murder of the millions of animals killed. This will immediately bankrupt them. Just look at the big stink over an aboriginal police officer killing a wombat. To quote Stalin-“The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of a million is a statistic.”

We have seen small bands of envirozealots prevent fuel reduction burns. They think they have the right to impose their way upon everyone , but when it turns out they were totally wrong, they expect to have no culpability. This is not how it works. It should be that the envirozealots are identified so the bill for firefighting and damages is presented to them for the damage (usually in the tens of millions per fire + fines for killed wildlife). Thus, if it is a group of 10 envirozealots/ environazis prevents a burnoff that was designed to prevent a fire that eventually caused 10 million in damage, then each environazi is liable for a million dollars each or incarceration until the damages are paid. This will likely be life in the slammer. As there are probably only a couple of hundred such environazis in Australia, they will soon land in the slammer or disband. As it is, we are getting sick and tired of small but very noisy veganazis and environazis doing whatever they like with impunity. This is effectively a takeover by the environazis.

Time for these vermin to be ignored. If they want to chain themselves to a tree to prevent back burning-tough, they will burn. If they invade a farm, the farmer should have the right to bring out the shot gun to protect their property. Note, it is a band of about 100 veganazis that have gone to farm after farm to create havoc. They put their entire crew in to each operation, making it seem like they are many-Alinsky Rule number one.

Meanwhile, we hear the warmists bleat away about “climate change” being the cause. They are yet to define what “climate change” actually means! Bring on the Royal Commission, but ensure that it investigates if human CO2 really is the dominant cause of catastrophic/ dangerous global warming/ “climate change.” Bring it on. It will be sweet indeed if John Cook is put on the stand to answer this simple question-“Of the 11,944 papers reviewed by your team in 2013, how many of these papers came to the conclusion that man-made carbon dioxide was the dominant cause of catastrophic or dangerous global warming or climate change? No prizes for guessing the actual answer to this question. As his study was over a 21 year period, it can be regarded as comprehensive, so the actual papers in the “Holy Grail” pile can be regarded as the actual Holy Grail of evidence.

The vessel is likely to be an empty vessel.

January 5, 2020 12:45 pm

The NYT publishes this stuff? They can’t be serious.
Oh, wait, the author is a novelist, this is the trailer for his next book of fiction right?

January 5, 2020 2:10 pm

Saw this banner in Newtown Sydney
“All I want for Christmas is real action on climate changes”


What is real action?

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Co2_Skeptic
January 6, 2020 9:27 am

I’m pretty sure that means imposing global socialism and reverting everyone (except the elites) to the Stone Age.

William Astley
January 5, 2020 2:14 pm

To me this sounds like the beginning of the end of the scam. Countries will wake up one by one.

The public and politicians were OK with green talk and green fuzzy promises when there was no cost and when the green promises seem real.

…all the spending on green scams in Australia has resulted in brownouts and expensive electricity…

… and no effect on climate change, no effect on atmospheric CO2 rise, and absolutely no effect on forest fires.

Australians have immense deposits of hydrocarbons which they need to sell to help pay their country’s bills and to keep a large portion of the Australian population employed.

Clarky of Oz
January 5, 2020 4:03 pm

Sky News Australia carries a report this morning that our PM, Scott Morrison, should call Donald Trump and tell him to reverse his 2016 election promise to withdraw from Paris. Seriously, about three minutes into this clip.


No doubt Donald is anxiously waiting for instructions from Scomo.

At least it is a change from everybody screaming for someone else to do “something”

Craig from Oz
January 5, 2020 4:29 pm

Eric wrote;

“As for Clive Palmer, I don’t think Palmer and NYT’s claims that Palmer won the election for the Australian Conservatives are credible.”

Careful Eric. The Australian Conservatives – at the time of the election at least – were a ‘Conservative’ political party formed in protest after the Left tosser Malcolm Turnbull backstabbed and cheated his way into being Prime Minister of the Liberal (big L Liberal) party. It could be argued that the AC was the physical manifestation of the DelCon movement.

The AC, unfortunately, under performed and was delisted as a party after the election.

While it is correct to say that the conservative side of Australian politics were successful in 2019, saying the Australian Conservatives were successful is both incorrect and misleading.

Craig from Oz
January 5, 2020 8:01 pm

from the article;

“Mr. Flanagan is a novelist.”

Yeah, and in non woke terms not a particularly successful one. He has collected all the right literary awards but doesn’t seem either well read or prolific. The only novel that even has brand recognition is Sound of One Hand Clapping – and that, to be honest, is probably more due to the fact he borrowed the title from a koan – and many of the reviews for this suggest it is pretentious and melodramatic.

He seems to have published seven books over the last 26 odd years. Yes… Well done. Brandon Sanderson by comparison has finished two novels in the time it has taken to read this article and even George RRRRRRRRRR Martin finishes novels faster than that.

He also has a screen credit for the movie ‘Australia’, and that movie was rubbish.

I think that Flanagan says ‘novelist’ but really means ‘arts grant and awards parasite’.

Also from the article;

“In no small part Mr. Morrison owes his narrow election victory last year to the coal-mining oligarch Clive Palmer, who formed a puppet party to keep the Labor Party”


Okay, for those not reading from Australia Clive is a blow hard who seems to have made his fortune by constantly starting a new exciting project every time reality started to kick in with his current one. This is the man who wanted to build a Titanic replica. Don’t ask me why. Probably because it sounds exciting to easily impressed investors rather than there actually having a proper business model attached to it.

In an earlier election he ran for House of Reps and got in.

(irony, considering Flanagan’s claim above is that Palmer owes his election victory to the Australian 2PP system and Labor voter preferences)

He then formed Palmer United Party by convincing a bunch of other independent senators to group with him and that lasted about 3 months before the alliance collapsed. Palmer then got a massive reputation for never actually being either in parliament or his electorate and declared he was no recontesting his seat in the following election.

All was fine until the 2019 election where he crawled his way out of the dustbin of history he himself had thrown himself into and tried to re-invent himself as the Australian Trump. Unfortunately for him he had his own failed political record, his blow hard persona, a lot of adverts that bordered on tin-foil hat fantasy and the fact that no one really trusted him. Yes he did spend a bucket load of money. Apparently at least. I do not have the actual inclination to go check but his heart attack waiting to happen face was all over youtube for months.

The context of this money spent needs to be taken alongside his actual results – they were rubbish. Nationally his party scored about 2.6% of the senate vote, which for context is less than the 3.8% of votes that were declared invalid. Speaking from scrutineering experience, invalid votes are normally deliberately blank, not ballot sheets that have been accidently stuffed up, so in real terms more voters couldn’t be stuffed supporting any party at all than they were voting for Palmer’s party.

Also, if you are not a ‘novelist’ with a detachment from reality you might notice that the Labor party vote stayed about the same. The Liberal/Nations (aka the conservative types) picked up votes in the senate, but at the expense of the minor groups. Labor (the Left) didn’t lose voters, the Right regained them from the centre, AND under the preference system used in Australia anyway, the minor minor party votes eventually get preferenced to a major party anyway.

Also, in context of Flanagan’s argument, is the massive amount of time, effort and undisclosed money used by GetUp! (the political party you have when you want to pretend you are just a concerned grass roots community group) to bank roll – among others – the massive campaign by ‘independents’ against major sitting Liberal members. Tony Abbott was defeated by one of these campaigns. Strange that Flanagan, in his clearly unbias discussion, doesn’t seem to have mentioned this.

Flanagan, I put to you, needs to stop attempting to make comment on topics he is either unable or unwilling to discuss honestly and stick to milking the public teat by winning woke lit awards.

January 5, 2020 10:44 pm

Sick and tired of this idiotic ignorant climate change labelling. What the heck does even mean climate change when Earth’s weather is always changing. Due to what most would know if did their own homework instead of repeating bs like moronic parrots… sun cycles called solaris minima and solaris maxima.
At the moment Earth is going through solaris minima and the deepest so far recorded since ca mid 1600. The orbital wobble is also the Earths’ weather game changer but let’s keep the simple elementary school weather lesson, simple.
Solaris minima is the reason why the weather around the world at the moment is so odd. It is a temporary situation and there is nothing and nobody that can stop this celestial and natural event. The sun poles do flip every 11 years and this is the start of either solaris minima or maxima.
The problem isn’t some of the mayhem heavy rains have been causing or the polar bear winter temperatures (not in this of country for weather manipulation … 10C increase weekends and ph only?! and with an odd 100% humidity that follows? Humidity is indeed the result of weather manipulation.
Anyway, just consider this … last year QLD and NSW went through the worst drought in decades … how many bush fires were there?
This year, first day of ‘summer’, what happens in QLD and NSW? 22 bush fires no media has yet given a proper investigations’ information because … they were deliberately lit… California Amazon forest style. Agenda orders government to take over farming industry too … no wonder why farming got let to die off, let’s not forget the scandal of the Darling river and its water payback fraud that as per usual nobody got arrested for, those gov funds that ..has any of this money gone straight to the farmers to help them to pay back some of those bank loans and/or to buy cattle? How about having some of it spent to provide pumps to (geo supervised) extract water form the underground water reservoir, of one of the biggest in the world too, both states do sit on? … Exactly so.
Australia is burning to hell, not because of some idiotic ignorant insulting yap, but because some idiot with too much money paid to have fire experimenting California Amazon forest style. That thanks to the Greens as well, it went out of control.
By the way if there is something to really worry about … even scientists have no idea what mayhem this is going to cause … is that momentum solaris minima turns into solaris maxima. Hoping it is going to fry the Christ out of all that crap of space spying toys… problem is that most satellites are weaponsided too … the dingo will be back to bite human trash in the butt … no poop.
Footnote. That Greta? She is the victim child of parental indoctrination. Any other kid out of its own initiative would have never yapped the crap Greta yaps.
So sunshine internet isn’t that thing that makes fb go only. it is that thing that one can research anything from … for remember … none of this info is top secret info … it is all for public domain right there under your noses to research … so much so, one can even find documentation about the nuking off of massive chunks of ice from the poles that has been happening at least for the last 30 years, for ice reforming experimenting (the famous melting of the ice at the poles caused by … what again?) … But cause not instigated to research, the mental laziness of most … the despicable lack of curiosity… most prefer to make out of themselves … a bunch of moronic media idiocies parrots. Time to step up to your game as human being and start pointing the index towards the right trash …

Patrick Peake
January 6, 2020 2:13 am

And if by chance it were to be proven that climate change has caused these bushfires, which I seriously doubt, our key response should be adaptation to the changed situation. Given our minuscule emissions compared to China, India and other developing nations we in Oz can have essentially zero impact on CO2 concentrations. Even if the greenhouse believers are right their proposed solutions are a pack of lies

Hokey Schtick
January 6, 2020 10:03 am

Richard Flanagan, who makes a living out of making things up. A fiction writer. Lovely prose, crap science.

Mike McHenry
January 6, 2020 10:30 am

I just read that 47% of the brush fires are arson and 87% man made. Also Australia averages 60K brush fires per year.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Mike McHenry
January 6, 2020 6:59 pm

Yep! And most of those arsonists are know to authorities.

Al Miller
January 6, 2020 3:30 pm

All Aussies: you must immediately send ALL of your money to the government- that will make the fires stop – right, won’t it…

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