Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t Peter Ridd; Climate obsessed greens are ignoring advice from indigenous people to burn the bush, to prevent a bushfire catastrophe.
But Professor Reece of James Cook University, Peter Ridd’s old institution, claims traditional wisdom “has limitations”, because of the changes white people have wrought on the land – climate change and settlement.
Australia fires: Aboriginal planners say the bush ‘needs to burn’
By Gary Nunn Sydney
12 January 2020
For thousands of years, the Indigenous people of Australia set fire to the land.
Long before Australia was invaded and colonised by Europeans, fire management techniques – known as “cultural burns” – were being practised.
The cool-burning, knee-high blazes were designed to happen continuously and across the landscape.
The fires burn up fuel like kindling and leaf detritus, meaning a natural bushfire has less to devour.
Since Australia’s fire crisis began last year, calls for better reintegration of this technique have grown louder. But it should have happened sooner, argues one Aboriginal knowledge expert.
“The bush needs to burn,” says Shannon Foster.
She’s a knowledge keeper for the D’harawal people – relaying information passed on by her elders – and an Aboriginal Knowledge lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).
Experts agree that cultural burning has limitations, partly because colonisation led to development and human-created climate change, presenting us with a very different landscape now to hundreds of years ago.
Prof Preece has been in areas where, day after day, the conditions for cooler cultural burning weren’t right.
“It’d be too moist, too cool, too hot, too dry – you have a narrow window. And with many firefighters in Australia being volunteers, they’re working during the week, and you could go four Saturdays till the conditions are right.”Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-51043828
Shannon is also critical of current controlled burning policy, suggesting it leads to fires which are too intense – because it isn’t done in accordance with traditional wisdom.
You know what? I’d be happier if the government listened more to indigenous knowledge keepers like Shannon. We have to try something; the current system of forestry management clearly is not working.