Fight fires with facts – not fake science

Eliminate fuel, prevent ignition, stop arson, end irresponsible land management policies

By Paul Driessen & Duggan Flanakin,

“We are all born ignorant,” Benjamin Franklin once said, “but one must work very hard to remain stupid.”

Greens are incensed over suggestions that anything but fossil fuels and climate change might be turning green California and Australian ecosystems into black wastelands, incinerating wildlife, destroying homes and killing people. The notion that they and their policies might be a major factor in these fires gets them so hot under the collar that they could ignite another inferno. But the facts are there for all to see.

PG&E certainly failed to maintain, upgrade and repair its transmission lines and towers, leading to sparks that caused multiple fiery cataclysms. However, California now has over 129 million dead trees in its forests – and a long history of refusing to thin them out, clear brush or permit others to do so. Fuel levels in Aussie forest, brush and grasslands areas have likewise climbed to near-historic levels in recent years.

The total area burned in New South Wales and Victoria is now approaching the area burnt in Victoria back in 1851, Australian scientist Dr. Jennifer Marohasy notes. 2020 summer temperatures in Australia may get as hot as they did back in 1938-1939. US climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer agrees.

In both California and Australia, people bemoan the loss of eucalyptus trees in fires. But many don’t want them removed or even thinned out. They don’t know (or won’t accept the fact) that fallen eucalypt leaves and bark create vast expanses of flammable material, while their spicy-smelling oil is highly flammable. A spark can ignite an explosive firestorm in air laden with gasoline-like vapors, followed by horrific crown fires among the trees and ground fires in the dead leaves and bark.

Rainy winters in both places cause rapid, lush plant growth that is aided by rising levels of atmospheric plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide. Long, hot, dry summers – or prolonged droughts – can follow, drying out the trees, brush and grass, and setting the stage for catastrophic wildfires.

Environmentalists, politicians, regulators and judges say removing trees and brush will damage habitats. But when the inevitable conflagrations hit, habitats are cremated and obliterated, down to soil organisms and organic matter. Subsequent downpours and snowmelts wash the remaining soil away. What habitats?

Some recent fires could be called “historic” or “unprecedented” – especially if monster fires of a century or more ago are left out of the calculation; or if conflagrations elsewhere are not included. Few people know about the Great Peshtigo, Wisconsin Fire of October 8, 1871, even though it killed 1,200-2,500 people, many of them turned into little piles of ash. The Peshtigo debacle was overshadowed by another big fire that day: the Great Chicago Fire, which burned 98% less land and killed far fewer people.

Yet another fact demolishes the all-too-typical claim that recent Australian fires are due to manmade climate change. Many (perhaps most) of those fires were caused by humans – some accidentally, but many deliberately. More than 180 alleged arsonists have been arrested since the start of the 2020 bushfire season, with 29 blazes deliberately lit in part of southeast New South Wales in just three months!

At least two dozen people have died in Australia’s fires, along with thousands of sheep and cattle, over 2,000 koala bears, and several hundred million other animals. US wildfires have likewise exacted horrific death tolls. A few years ago, Duggan hosted a benefit concert for the families of the Fallen Nineteen, the 19 City of Prescott firefighters who died battling the 2013 lightning-ignited Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona.

Now, the Washington Free Beacon reports, “a media outlet affiliated with ISIS has been instructing the group’s radical adherents to set forest fires in the United States and Europe to cause mass ecological disasters, according to posts on an internet forum dedicated to the terror group.” The Middle East Media Research Institute has flagged four posters published in the pro-ISIS Quraysh media outlet. The first said (English translation): “Oh monotheists [followers of ISIS], ignite fires in the forests and fields, and we are addressing especially those who live in Europe and America, for the fires are painful to them.” The fourth poster got more specific: “Ignite fires in the forests of America, France, Britain and Germany, for they are painful to them.” Might some ISIS follower have viewed Australia as equally deserving of ecotage?

A recent report by Pulitzer Prize winning Los Angeles Times reporter Bettina Boxall may make greens even hotter under the collar: “Human-caused ignitions spark California’s worst wildfires but get little state focus,” the headline reads. Her key point is damning: “It doesn’t matter how dry the vegetation, how fierce the winds or how high the temperature; if there is no ignition, there is no wildfire.”

Noting that the 2019 California fire season was far less deadly than that in 2018, when the notorious “Camp Fire” destroyed the town of Paradise and killed 86 people, Ms. Boxall attributes the comparatively mind 2019 fire season to actions PG&E took to shut down power to many Californians, often for days. She quotes Stanford University researcher Michael Wara, who testified before a Congressional committee that Pacific Gas & Electric’s inspections of wind damage to its lines and equipment made it clear that, without preventive shutdowns, “we would have had a significant number of utility-caused fires” in 2019.

Boxall found that all of California’s 20 most destructive wildfires were human-related, with half due to power line or electrical problems. She also noted that a study of US records from 1992 to 2012 found that human activity (power lines, carelessness and arson) was responsible for 84% of wildfires and 44% of acreage burned nationwide. That’s the ignition factor. Two other factors are equally important.

Even if there is ignition, if there is insufficient fuel, there will still be no wildfire – at least not monstrous, deadly conflagrations. Thin the forests, remove dead trees, control brush and grass levels, especially in dry seasons and arid regions. It’s basic, intelligent land management; the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared.

Preparation also means maintaining fire breaks and access roads into forest, brush and grass lands; building and maintaining sufficient escape routes and warning systems, and making people aware of them; ensuring that each family and community has an escape plan; and having enough trucks, airplanes, helicopters, other equipment and personnel to respond to average fires and worst-case scenarios. It means educating children and adults about how to prevent fires, put them out, and get out of their path.

(California public schools offer multiple courses on climate change. Cool California lists even more. But as long as politicians and even industry leaders keep spreading the false gospel of climate change as the principal cause of wildfires, the need for personal and political responsibility will be ignored.)

Third, actual response to a fire means ensuring the political, social, financial and institutional support to get sufficient personnel, equipment and water to a fire before it turns into an uncontrollable inferno.

Do all that, and the recovery phase – rebuilding homes, businesses, habitats, wildlife numbers and shattered human lives – will be far less extensive, costly and traumatic. Difficult recoveries will also be minimized by not wasting scarce time and money on fashionable, politically correct, “woke” issues like how many fire fighters are of a specific ethnic or sexual identity group. People and animals in the path of a roaring inferno care only that first responders are prepared, equipped and on time. So should politicians.

Every one of these vital matters is within our power to control – if we can muster the political willpower to take appropriate action. None of them involves climate change.

It doesn’t matter if Earth’s or California’s or Australia’s average annual or summer temperature is 0.1 or even 1.0 degrees warmer. Or that a drought is a day, month or year longer than X. Or whether the climate and weather fluctuations are driven by human or natural forces. Or that America, Australia, Britain, China, India or Indonesia is “not doing enough” to curb fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions.

Climate change did not cause 129 million trees to die in California – or prevent the state and feds from removing the dead trees, thinning the forests, and clearing overgrown brush and grass. Ditto for Australia.

We must play the hand we have been dealt. That means acting responsibly and intelligently to prevent and respond to wildfires under whatever climate, drought, diseased and dead trees, or other conditions exist, wherever and whenever we live. Ben Franklin would be proud of us.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, climate, environmental and human rights issues. Duggan Flanakin is CFACT’s director of policy research.

155 thoughts on “Fight fires with facts – not fake science

    • The huge Peshtigo fire in 1871 suggests that climate change and fires began even sooner. Perhaps fire and climate change existed even before that. /s

    • That was one big fire. Though you either have a stray million accidentally inserted, or the entire earth surface (including the oceans) burned over 33 times that year. 4,200,000 million acres is 6,562,500,000 square miles. The surface area of the earth is 196,900,000 square miles.

      However, typo and all your point stands – fire is nothing new.

      • “4,200,000 million acres is 6,562,500,000 square miles.”

        Wow. You’re WAY WAY WAY off.

        An acre is MUCH less than a square mile. 4.2 million acres = 6562.5 square miles.

        • or a square around 208 linear feet to a side.

          Or the lengths of two Medieval swimming pools end to end.

      • The truth is always true like false accusations is and supported facts like rising seas flooding Florida and the expansions of oceans .self imposed ignorance is standard ploy here . And self aniliation follows its republican leadership I pray to fumble .in all manners .proof of ignorance is increasing relesing millions of gallons of high radiation from tripple meltdowns into pacific electing corrupt presidents ignoring every evil deed.to enrich the guilty jesus is a good judge .

  1. There are lots of sensible articles like this one about the fires, but how many of them reach the MSM or get wide publicity? Virtually none.

    • Philip…
      There are lots of sensible articles like this one about the fires…

      However ,in OZ…the leftist media is doubling down on Klimit Change as the only culprit to be considered.
      Anything else is just a part of The MURDOCH EVIL EMPiRE denier Industry.
      The worst offender being the academic blog…The Conversation which is a private body which just happened to get a 3 million dollar grant from our Gillard Labor Government in its early days in 2010 and when that finished our Victorian Labor government coughs up another 3 million…handy to get 20,000 a week for the first 6 years of the company start up!

      Climate change will make fire storms more likely in southeastern Australia…November 20, 2019 2.45pm
      Climate change is bringing a new world of bushfires
      September 10, 2019 4.42pm
      Might the bushfire crisis be the turning point on climate politics Australian needs?
      January 16, 2020 6.10am
      Pretty much sums up the dogma of the Lefty media in Oz…

      Klimit Change is as Guilty as Sin!…and denial is a social crime and borders on, or should be, a criminal matter.

    • The greatest strength of the Propaganda Ministry is Misdirection They know how to control the narrative for the faithful and they know how to keep the faithful in the majority: Control Public Schools and Administer Cracker Jack College Degrees in the Social Sciences. Voila! Uninformed Masses.

      • “NSW police data shows 183 people have been charged or cautioned for bushfire-related offences since November 8, and 24 arrested for deliberately starting bushfires.”

        Only 24 for arson. The rest, mostly cautioned, for stupidity.

        I have to add, though, that one leftwing paper wrote a story on what police look for in judging what started a fire. Came across as instructions to hide intent.

  2. … if there is no ignition, there is no wildfire.

    If there is no ignition, the fuel builds up even more and the eventual fire is worse.

    The ‘no ignition, no fire’ excuse is disingenuous at least.

    Fire can be a good thing. In fact, we need it badly. Without it, the forest and our communities will perpetually be at risk of extreme wildfires. link

    • True, however if one controls the timing of that ignition so that the weather conditions do not support the rapid spread, one gets the best of both worlds known as a control-burn.

  3. California is not in Australia.

    Have you seen this really crazy rant? I was interested in the science stuff, not the political stuff.
    You will have to try and ignore the condescending narrator.
    Look at 25-40 to 26-40 only.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0x46-enxsA

    Do “they” talk about Californian weather infuences in this manner?

    Are these sciencey guys somewhat right with their interpretation of Australia’s recent weather?

    • Aus. has been getting wetter until this year’s drought. Along with extra CO2 fertiliser this increases fuel load. Reduce fuel load, reduce damaging bush fires. Not rocket science. Stop making excuses and trying to fight the weather and use practical, proven management techniques.

        • University press releases are notoriously overly-optimistic in the uses of their research. I’d have a large number of questions about this substance like: What are the long term implications of this gel on the living organisms in the ecosystem?; What are the chemical breakdown pathways of this gel and what long-term impacts will its release into the system bring?; When the rains eventually wash this material off into the waterways, how flammable is the newly exposed material?; Does the gel inhibit the natural insect, fungal, and bacterial breakdown of the underbrush?; (the list could go on and on).

          The idea that we stop something from burning this time only to have it be part of an extreme fuel load NEXT time is a recipe for disaster.

          • All are excellent questions.

            The flame retardant dropped from planes is rarely dropped near water sources; it poisons fish.

            They claim this gel is benign. If true, it’s appears to be an excellent way to prevent fires and possibly mitigate fires.

            It’s one of the few new things I could find to prevent fires.

            Clearing brush and thinning forest are still a must.

    • Don’t trust anyone who says bork – when it is pronounced berk (especially when they claim they live in Australia)

      Even more so – when they purposefully lambast others for mispronouncing names, like dipole.

      • not recognising the word dipole indicates virtually zero knowledge of science, so it is a legitimate call out.

        If just one tiny fraction of the colossal amounts of money wasted on “fighting climate” was spent on real problems like fire prevention, these disasters would not happen.

        Relying on a limited number of volunteer fire fighters to do controlled burns on the one or two weekends per year when there just happens to be favourable wind and weather conditions and when these actions are not pushed back due to ignorant greeny demos, seems to be main cause of fuel build up.

        • “Relying on a limited number of volunteer fire fighters to do controlled burns on the one or two weekends per year”
          They do not rely on volunteer firefighters to do controlled burns.

          • So a NY Times article with a photo claiming to show “Control burning by volunteer fire fighters along the Princess Highway in Meroo National Park, New South Wales, Australia” would be another Murdoch lie?

          • The burning in state land and national parks are done by the relevant state department – using country fire _ volunteers.

          • Well you are right but also wrong Nick. Yes there are dedicated fuel reduction units who conduct control burns. But, they also rely on local volunteer units to provide heavy tankers for water and smaller units to monitor the fire edge after the burn is completed.

          • Correct Nick but they just do not do enough of it and there is a ship load of green tape frustrating where and how much can be done and mechanical techniques creating fire breaks and access tracks are also affected. Compound that with millions of houses and other buildings built in ad adjacent forest areas or with flammable trees and scrub close by and you have pretty much set the place up for catastrophe.

            I think the Greens and their hippy clappers in the community and public service still basically work on a northern hemisphere, deciduous ecosystem view of nature which is regulated by annual seasons. Eucalypt forests are not so regulated and if left to nature are regulated by occasional, sometimes massive fires initiated by lightening. All that has happened since humans turned up is that we ( both indigenous Australianas and the modern settler cohort) have added a whole new set of fire initiation possibilities.

            The indigenous people figured out a robust, reliable eco management regime but us more recent settlers know better than them, don’t we? Cos like we know about science and stuff and are a sophisticated, advanced culture. Not. We are a culture who in regards to the matter in question still can’t wipe its backside like some petulant toddler.

          • From your CFA link:

            “Planned burning on public land including National Parks, State Parks and other crown land reserves is done by Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic)”

            “Planned burning is conducted by CFA brigades on behalf of and at the request of private land owners or managers of other reserves such as roads rail corridors, council reserves and water authority land. “

            IOW FFM is responsible for the prescribed burning program. Others can request (presumably for a fee) CFA help. CFA is a mixed vol/career outfit.

          • “…I said they do not rely on volunteers…”

            Reliance is not sole-sourcing, lol. So you claim you meant to say “rely solely,” yet on two occasions you opted not to use “solely.”

            “…In Victoria we have a government organisation, Forest Fire Management, which does it…”

            In Victoria you also have a government organization, Country Fire Authority. They claim, “…CFA covers regional and rural Victorian property, as well as 60% of metropolitan Melbourne generally bordering the inner suburbs such as Dandenong, Eltham, Bayswater, Caroline Springs and Greenvale…Melbourne’s inner suburbs are serviced by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), while Victorian State forests and National Parks are serviced by Forrest Fire Management (FFM)…”

            So the FFM is only part of the story and only covers a fraction of Victoria (about 1/6th by area).

            The CFA, as of Oct 1, had 34,597 volunteer firefighters and 1,358 career firefighters. Seems like there could be some heavy reliance on volunteers for certain roles.

            What do their FAQs list among volunteer fire fighting roles? https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/volunteer-careers/volunteer-faqs#whatdovolsdo
            “…Conducting fuel reduction burns…”

          • “So the FFM is only part of the story and only covers a fraction of Victoria”
            It covers the area subject to prescribed burning. The government does not prescribe burning of private lands.

          • “presumably for a fee”
            I doesn’t matter.
            I have highlighted that a council has requested CFA( a volunteer unit) to burn their reserve and now now they don’t.
            Nobody clears this reserve anymore.

          • I get it now…by “Victoria,” Nick is only referring to state gov’t, state land, and national land within the state. Other lands and private citizens are apparently not part of Victoria in Nick’s world. Maybe a lifetime of working in gov’t developed that attitude.

        • Not recognising the correct pronunciation of Bourke indicates virtually zero knowledge of Australia and is a legitimate call out.

          But please feel free to ignore the blatant hubris & self aggrandising involved in such.

      • Only in Oz does Bourke morph into Burke! Which makes it a great shibboleth as a test of ground truth.

        • Burke was an early explorer
          Bourke was an early governor
          Both have many places named after them.
          I live in Melbourne an pronounce both Berk.
          I’ve been to Burketown in far North Queensland and I don’t think they speak English 🙂

    • No. The weather is the same as it has always been. There were times when fuel loads were reduced, roads were cleared for 50m each side etc. You only have to look at a movie shot in Australia in the 1970s to realise that every sensible measure has been reduced or has disappeared completely. There have been 57 enquiries into bushfires since 1939. They all say the same thing and have all been ignored. This will all happen again. The idiots are still in charge. More DC10 water bombers being brought here apparently. Totally useless against fires that exceed 4000 kilowatts per linear metre, which is MOST of the recent catastrophic fires.

    • Robl
      The outstanding data skills of Jo Nova is again to the fore in this article at her web page…

      JO NOVA…The Hotter-Drier “Climate change” myth — the rain in Australia has always been erratic, no CO2 trend.

      Another excellent reference is…02/08/19 Are Australian Wildfires Due To Climate Change?
      Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That.

    • seems the sciency guys totally forgot to mention that we had damned wet winters that filled dry lakes caused floods and allowed a lot of plant n weed growth just a few yrs ago
      most of that grass and woody weeds didnt get cleaned up at all. 2015/6 and even 17 werent bad yrs at all for mst areas of SE aus especially

      • Central NSW had over 900 mm of rain in 2017, and less than 250 mm in 2018 and 2019. The vegetation load that built up in 17 was then dried to a crisp in the next two years. Hence the fuel load was so high.

    • Apply some critical thought to the claims in this youtube video.

      At one point he talks about the “mean maximum temperature”. You can’t tell if the maximum temperatures are going up from the mean. The mean could also go up from more stations being warmer while still remaining previous absolute maximum temperatures. If it is supposed to be that climate change is causing higher maximums then plot the maximum temperatures, don’t use a mean or average. Averages hide what is happening at the edges and the edges are where the actual climate impacts occur.

      At another point the narrator makes the claim that the 13% of fires caused by arson is insignificant while just a few seconds later admitting that he doesn’t know how many of the 37% of suspicious fires are arson. If fires are “suspicious” then there is a reason for that classification.

      I actually stopped listening at the 11 minute point because I couldn’t stand listening to that kind of garbage any longer.

  4. The area burnt in Victoria in the Great Fire on Black Thursday, 6 February 1851. was burnt in one catastrophic day with fires racing at up to 100kmph over a quarter of the State from Portland to Dandenong. Twelve people were killed in 1851 thanks to the low population then. The modern Rural Fire Service’s great efforts in the present bushfires made the fires much more controlled and they killed fewer people than the fires in 2009 when as many as 173 people were killed, In 2019/20,,far fewer (27) were killed thanks to the saving efforts of the RFS.

    • AND prosecute ANY organisation that supports the “let nature be” philosophy where Human lives are at risk, only Humans can protect the environment & wildlife, Nature merely consumes it!l

      • The opposite has happened – some home owners, when trying to clear the trees and brush around their homes, have been hit with heavy fines. Amounts of A$40,000 and A$150,000 have been reported.

        • Only because they didn’t have a permit to do so. If they had paid the local authority the cost of a permit, I would hazard a guess it would be about AU$50,000, they would not have been fined. See what I am getting at here?

          • They tried to obtain permission but it was refused. Not that it matters now as most of these properties have been destroyed completely.

  5. It must be obvious to everyone now that the ecology cannot be allowed to grow back to what it was before, and therefore … there was something wrong with the previous ecology, it was not … sustainable. You can’t build a house without making it fire resistant, the same now obviously applies to eco-systems.

  6. Its the greens, its the arsonists, its the same old lies, exaggerations and disinformation trotted out again and again.

    Despite record heat, despite record dry, despite the first hand accounts of experienced fire-fighters saying the severity of these conditions are unprecedented and getting worse, despite the warnings months ago by dozens retired fire chiefs with vast first-hand knowledge that the climate they fight fires in is changing, despite rainforests burning, despite the fire season starting earlier and earlier and lasting longer, despite even the staunchest, so-called skeptical scientists agreeing that it is now warmer due to our emissions, its anything but CO2

    “with 29 blazes deliberately lit in part of southeast New South Wales in just three months!”
    29? out of how many thousands of fires? I stopped reading right there.

    The first lie (of many) Driessen tells is the strawman lie that “alarmists say its can be nothing but fossil fuels and climate change.” But the bigger lie, the lie at the bottom of all of his bs is that: its anything, anything but CO2.

    • Blaming the greens and arsonists will result in hazard reduction and law enforcement policies that should result in fewer damaging fires in subsequent inevitable fire seasons.

      Blaming CO2, and the issue of CO2 fertilization has not been challenged here at all, will not result in any useful outcome whatever. China, India, and the rest of the third world are going to provide their people with carbon based electrical power and transportation, no matter what.

      • Which is basically the Australian public view, even if you accept Climate Change is a major factor there is nothing you can do about it. It is in the same category of worrying about a meteor strike on Australia.

    • Rubbish! 2019 was a dry year, but Australia had at least another five very dry years, some of them the same years when Australia also had significant fires such as 1939 Black Saturday. There is NO trend in dry years in Australia. The retired fire chiefs you mention are all noted activists, so as expected, their opinions are not worth much. Victoria was supposed to be back-burning 5% of their bushland every year, but they only burnt 1.5%, a minuscule amount. despite 58 separate enquiries and recommendations, Australia still allows people to “live among the gum trees”, with dangerous vegetation completely surrounding their houses.

    • Well said Mr Loydo. It’s why the word “deniers” is so apt describing the bollocks that gets spewed by those who want the public to look anywhere, but at the real cause of this tragic problem.

      • I know it’s not generally accepted Simon, but I think we have to face that CO2 has developed a time-machine as the evidence of it grows every time we read newly uncovered historical accounts of prior major fires (or blizzards) which were even bigger than today’s formerly totally ‘unprecedented’ fires. CO2 is clearly attempting to make a complete mockery of claims that today’s fires are the biggest fires evah! It’s a very dodgy molecule.

      • Let me fix that sentence for you Simon,
        It’s why the word “alarmists” is so apt describing the bollocks that gets spewed by those who want the public to look anywhere, but at the real cause of this tragic problem.
        There. Now it becomes an apt description of those who continually put their collective heads in the sand and ignore the facts. Multi decades of forest fuel loads with a lack of mitigation, poor building regulations together with a prolonged drought and ignorant greens blaming climate change equals disaster.

      • Simon.

        The great lie is that we can prevent the fires that we have NOW, by doing something about “climate change”.

        The simple mathematics are that if we shut down every industrial process in Australia, now, there would not be a measurable difference in fifty years.
        If we shut down every industrial process in the entire OECD, CO2 production would be the same in 2030 as it is now.

        C02 is not going away any time soon. There is no way that we can feed, shelter or keep warm 7 billion people without hydro-carbon fuels. There is no technology on the horizon that will even go close, let alone make it possible now.

        So regardless of how you cherry-pick the data, we cannot deal with fire by putting up magic windmills or walking to work. We have fires NOW. Strategies based around taxing us into poverty until we find some other way to feed the world will not deal with THE FIRES THAT WE HAVE NOW!

        I have been fighting fires for forty years. That is as a firefighter, not the political-appointee Fire-bureaucrats who are trying to avoid responsibility for a situation that developed on their watch. Fuel management is so essential that it is a part of the basic training that all of those bureaucrats endorsed, but which they now deny.

        • The great lie is that we can prevent the fires that we have NOW, by doing something about “climate change”.
          No Peter that is not a lie because no one said it.

          “C02 is not going away any time soon. There is no way that we can feed, shelter or keep warm 7 billion people without hydro-carbon fuels. There is no technology on the horizon that will even go close, let alone make it possible now.”

          Putting us on the horns of a diabolical dilemma.

      • Dang, and here the USAF trained me to use CO2 to put out the fires (with breathing apparatus in place – don’t want to asphyxiate yourself when you do the same to the fire.)

    • Loydo

      2019 is not ‘Unprecedented’

      & is only 1/12th of the devastation of 45yrs ago.

      The 1974 & 2019 fires can’t be attributed to CO2 levels;

      ‘Black Thursday’ Feb 6th 1851 : (CO2 = 285 ppm)
      ‘Red Tuesday’ Feb 1st 1898 : (CO2 = 295 ppm)
      ‘Black Friday’ Jan 13th 1939 : (CO2 = 311 ppm)
      Largest on record 1974 ~ 117 million hectares : (CO2 = 329 ppm)
      ‘Ash Wednesday’ 16th Feb 1983 : (CO2 = 342 ppm)
      ‘Black Saturday’ 7th Feb 2009 : (CO2 = 387 ppm)
      2019~ 10 million hectares : (CO2 = 411 ppm)

      No correlation, No causation
       
      Read Data … not fake-news sites.

    • Lloydo
      …the warnings months ago by dozens retired fire chiefs..

      All these Fire Officials were employed by State Governments…Why?
      Because Our Aussie States were given that Emergency Services role as part of our Federated States Constitution…It is their constitutional and legislative duty to create, run and implement ALL emergency Service policy.
      Why write to our Federal PM with these warnings ? The PM is only required to act as a back up to the States with military assistance of a limited kind and to provide emergency funding…All these officials knew all this so the purpose of the letter was a political stunt…they knew they wold be rebuffed so it allowed them and their newly formed Firefighters Climate Group to get all the ensuing publicity of a rebuff…They knew perfectly well, as former state employees, just who have always created…run and implemented emergency services policy…The STATES!

      Now I Shall withdraw this if you can find me The Australian National Federal Emergency Services Fire Police and Ambulance Brigade!

      • They are activist leeches trying to get that easy CAGW money. They are connected to the “climate council” which formed when the “Australian Climate Commission” was disbanded by the government because it was basically useless for anything other than lining the pockets of a few Climate Scientists to the tune of $5.4 Million dollars.

        Now they leach money from the public and companies who need brownie points with green groups. You suckers can support them and send them money if you are a true believer.

        https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/

        Greg Mullins was always with the team, the other two are new leeches.

      • These retired fire officials were hired by Tim Flannery of the Climate Council that he setup after being fired by the Federal Govn’t when Labor lost to Abbott. And he’s packed a sad-on ever since.

    • You just need one fire, extreme temperature and very high winds, then this happens:

      ‘Photojournalist Matthew Abbott has had some bizarre experiences while documenting the bushfires these past two months. He’s seen hundreds of airborne embers raining suddenly onto a grassy clearing, each ember starting a spot fire that propagated in a circular fashion, like ripples from stones dropped into a pond, until they joined up into a wall of flames. ‘

      From The Australian, that well-known greenie newspaper. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/weekend-australian-magazine/in-the-line-of-fire-its-a-calling-for-matthew-abbott/news-story/6df54636ed4cdaa3a5cb61e13d734058.

    • “29? out of how many thousands of fires? I stopped reading right there.”
      As well you might. What they don’t tell you is that those months were July, Aug, September. Two winter months and the first of spring. Burning off time.

      • So Nick taking action to mitigate the risk makes no sense to you?
        Even if we take every drastic action to solve the “global warming problem today” would that solve the problem fires right here and now?
        The world is warming and it may or may not be because of the the burning of fossil fuels (can you explain the LIA or MWP) and it may or may not contribute to fires, but ignoring simple basic action that can and have in the past controlled these problems and focusing on Climate Change is costing people there lives!
        Time to straighten up and pull your head out of your hind side.

        • “So Nick taking action to mitigate the risk makes no sense to you?”
          Your comment makes no sense. It was the Murdoch Press who characterised these people as arsonists, not me.

    • Loydo gets it right for once:

      “Its the greens, … its the same old lies, exaggerations and disinformation trotted out again and again.”

      All lefties are liars and the greenies are the biggest liars of them all.

    • Loydo

      Most of what you say is totally wrong, but even if you are correct nothing is going to change that makes the climate better from your stand point so why wouldn’t you advocate for action that will clearly mitigate the risks? Every suggestion made is reasonable and practical and will save lives and the local environment from destruction, it seems to me that your total lack of support for these measures shows clearly your arguments a purely political in nature.

    • Despite the lies of the desperate, that’s you Loydo, the fact remain that the historical records show that there is nothing unusual about current conditions.

      As to firefighters, the conditions may or may not be unprecedented during their professional careers, however that isn’t the definitive statement that your pathetic soul so desperately wants it to be.

      Everyone agrees that it is warmer. Most everyone agrees that some portion of this is probably due to CO2.
      However the rational ones are able to recognize that 0.6C degrees of warming isn’t the life threatening crisis that you are paid to believe it is.

    • “its anything, anything but CO2.” Most climate skeptics won’t say that- only that the extent to which CO2 is changing the climate is not yet “settled” compared to other causes- and it’s not the job of skeptics to prove what those causes are- it’s the job of climate “scientists” to PROVE to what extent CO2 is the cause. There is a need for some skepticism before we drastically change everything about our civilization.

    • Loydo,

      how come you don’t realize that vast areas of Australia, NORMALLY have drought and heat?

      How come you continue to ignore most of the articles you allegedly read, never gets addressed by you, your replies have a feel of being scripted by someone else……, it is NORMALLY hot and dry enough for fires for most of Australia, EVERY FREAKING YEAR!

      You didn’t bother to read and ponder this section at all:

      A recent report by Pulitzer Prize winning Los Angeles Times reporter Bettina Boxall may make greens even hotter under the collar: “Human-caused ignitions spark California’s worst wildfires but get little state focus,” the headline reads. Her key point is damning: “It doesn’t matter how dry the vegetation, how fierce the winds or how high the temperature; if there is no ignition, there is no wildfire.”

      This is why you talk like a propagandist and busy rationalizing bull crap claims made by other warmist propagandists.

      You are apparently a poor scholar…..

    • Please show these facts to be “lies”:

      1) Oz had a huge load of highly combustible fuel because of environmental objections to controlled burns and other clearing practices.

      2) Most bushfire ignitions were caused by humans, either accidentally or on purpose, rather than by natural sources, such as lightning.

      3) A fourth molecule of plant food per 10,000 dry air molecule in 2019 v. 1919 cannot possibly explain temperatures no different now from in prior decades, even accepting the BoM’s cooked book “data”.

      4) The fuel build up was due to more rain during the decades of increased CO2, so the past two years of totally normal drought can’t be blamed on CO2, any more than the rainier decades.

      5) How is it that decades of increased rain and two years of drought have the same cause? Have you really never heard that a theory which explains everything, no matter what happens, explains nothing?

      Thanks!

    • Loydo, the fact that fires have started during the Australian spring or summer is unremarkable. The problem this year, has been the intensity with which they burned.
      One of the multiple suggestions from the report into the devastating 2009 fires, was more extensive hazard reduction burns.
      On the eve of one of the most oppressive days, ‘honest’ Daniel Andrews spoke at a presser saying:
      “We have done all we (the Vic Govt) can, now its up to you to do all you can.” The only problem with that statement is that the Vic Govt only managed 0.35% of its controlled burns.
      If one were to check on previous years, I would wager that the figure would be similar, despite 30 odd reports on fires in the last 60 years recommending them.

      The chances of stopping all fires in an Australian fire season are about the same as CO2 having anything to do with Climate Change. Controlling the fuel, as told again and again, must be the primary objective of the responsible govts, which in Australia, are the states.

    • Loydo you just complained that people who disagree with you are spreading exaggerations and disinformation and then immediately turned around and trot out a laundry list of disinformation and exaggerations. Buy a mirror child.

      The fossil fuel of CAGW is disinformation and exaggeration Arsonists are real,, and there are real arrest records with profile photos to prove it.

  7. robl
    That video is notable for the information it chooses NOT to present. Simply, it is biased.
    Example – the BOM has released its second version of the adjusted historical temperature data for about 100 weather stations since 1910, named ACORN-SAT. That video has the implicit instruction that Acorn is a valid, corrected data set. Many of us disagree. I have often described it as dangerous, more likely to mislead than to improve research based in it.
    See this analysis by colleague Chris Gilham. It compares raw temperatures with Acorn versions 1 and 2. Note that the BOM adjustments for many stations are larger than the total claimed global warming from 1910 to 2010. None of the 110+ stations survived without adjustment. (It was so hard to get hired hands in the 1920s – not).
    That video, robl, was spoken by someone who knew so little about Australia that he could not even pronounce the name of the town “Bourke”. What a schoolboy howler! Problem is, there are many others, masquerading under the assertion of ‘science’. No hard, valid science organisation fiddles the data like BOM does with Acorn.
    (I am a scientist who has been studying Australian climate data since 1992).
    Geoff S

    • I skipped thru most of the video finding most of it biased and political.

      I was referred to 25-40 to 26-40 only. There is a discussion of the IOD, ENSO and SAM.
      Do “they” talk about Californian weather infuences in this manner?
      Are these sciencey guys somewhat right with their interpretation of Australia’s recent weather?

      I wasn’t thinking about the any claim of long term term temperature changes.

    • “That video, robl, was spoken by someone who knew so little about Australia that he could not even pronounce the name of the town “Bourke”. What a schoolboy howler! Problem is, there are many others, masquerading under the assertion of ‘science’. ”

      Classic WUWT straw,man comment.
      Criticise the messenger for his English to destroy hos argument.

      “Example – the BOM has released its second version of the adjusted historical temperature data for about 100 weather stations since 1910, named ACORN-SAT. That video has the implicit instruction that Acorn is a valid, corrected data set.”

      Another classic …. it all a fraud.

      “That video is notable for the information it chooses NOT to present. Simply, it is biased”

      And another.
      That video could not be any more evidential.

      Media reports vs the facts of “arson”, from police reports skewed by said Murdoch media.
      Actual testimony from Fire chiefs.
      Sorry Geoff – they know better than you.
      The burning season has shortened and so is less easily done.
      Why is that?

      Of course you and most denizens will never accept evidence from the climate community so no change there.

      Geoff, this is the problem with this place in a nutshell, it looks at it only through the prism of a bias against the science, and as such we get “simply it is biased”.

      What is it that it chose “NOT to present” Geoff?

    • “That video, robl, was spoken by someone who knew so little about Australia that he could not even pronounce the name of the town “Bourke”.”

      He pronounced the name as it appears. Seems that pronouncing it “Berk” would be grammatically incorrect.

  8. Many Australian fires each year burn parts of national parks and United Nations world heritage ares. By burning, the core values of the parks, the properties that led to their change of land tenure status,. are changed. Some factors change irrepairably and maybe even reversibly. So the core reasons for designating them chancgs from fires,
    Not many people have yet observed the need for the status of a burned park to be re-examined to see if it should retain that special status.
    Many commentators note that we have too much area tied up in parks, more than can be managed with available funds, so here is chance to set in place a systematice examination of the purposes (if any) of continuing with park classification.
    It might be kinder to koalas if people cared for them on private land, rather than nearly nobody cared for them in vast, semi-closed parks.
    (Standing: Around 1987, colleagues and I caused the proclamation of part of Kakadu as world heritage to be delayed because it would take from us rather valuable mineral prospects without compensation. We won in the Federal Court, finally losing on appeal when the High Court felt the matter had become too complicated for them to consider. We also argued that the country under discussion was ordinary, with few special values. Later, the Feds created a common boundary of Kakadu with a military training area with live ammunition in routine use. Is ammunition good at causing fires, or merely to lampoon bureaucrats of low ability?).

    • Geoff
      Can you explain how bom join station data.
      Can you us Kalgoorlie as an example. The station got moved from post office to airport 4km away with short overlap in time. No other nearby stations.
      Thanks in advance.

      • Actually, joining station data is more reliable when there is no or little overlap, which forces you to do the sensible thing and use other station data to achieve a good splice. The BoM make a huge mistake when there is some overlap, they totally ignore the information contained in the other stations and rely solely on the tiny amount of overlapping data, which often contains non-climatic perturbations, which are often the reason for the station move.

        • Thank you for response.
          How do they know when the non climatic perturbation started or what size they are?
          I just don’t buy that an accurate trend can be calculated based on remote stations such as Kalgoorlie, Alice Springs or Darwin.

          • Not knowing how perturbations vary with time is a major problem with ACORN-SAT, they admit that they make the assumption of no time variation. I have worked out trends for those places you mention, all back to the late 19th century, the nearest neighbours are indeed far away, but they are close enough in meteorological terms to give good confidence, especially as the resulting trends are very similar, Kalgoorlie very similar to Perth, and Port Hedland, Darwin and North QLD all very similar to each other.

      • Waza,

        Sorry, I cannot describe the join in any detail without doing a lot of work. The BOM use many different variations to treat overlaps and butt joints and so you would have to look up the specific case of Kalgoorlie. The main author is Blair Trewin. The answer you seek is most likely in one of his papers, they are easy to search for. Cheers Geoff.

    • That is a common problem, we had a fire in Western Australia which was actually funny and sort of an example of the problem.

      So here is the main ABC article reported it
      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-07/bushfires-cause-stirling-ranges-biodiversity-to-be-devastated/11844516

      A day earlier the local ABC actual gave the real background
      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-06/stirling-mega-blaze-volunteer-response/11842422

      The national park and a hugely important eco park has no heavy fire fighting equipment, it doesn’t even have a fire stand to fill trucks. So the local land owners basically become unpaid fire fighters and as per the article even have to back burn there own paddocks to contain the fire because of lack of defendable fire breaks in the park.

      So the main sell to the public is the damage to the Biodiversity hotspot not that they should actually spend some money or fire control resources in the park 🙂

    • Thanks for that important link, Geoff.

      What are BOM’s links to Climtegate?

      That link Geoff provided shows Australia was just as warm in the past as it is today. Another nail in the coffin of CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming).

      • Tom,

        The main quote that I kept for BOM/Climategate was –

        0601.txt cc: “Shoni Dawkins” date: Fri, 7 Sep 2007 08:28:03 +100 ??? from: “David Jones” subject: RE: African stations used in HadCRU global data set to: “Phil Jones” Thanks Phil for the input and paper. I will get back to you with comments next week. Fortunately in Australia our sceptics are rather scientifically incompetent. It is also easier for us in that we have a policy of providing any complainer with every single station observation when they question our data (this usually snows them) and the Australian data is in pretty good order anyway. Truth be know, climate change here is now running so rampant that we don’t need meteorological data to see it. Almost everyone of our cities is on the verge of running out of water and our largest irrigation system (the Murray Darling Basin is on the verge of collapse – across NSW farmer have received a 0% allocation of water for the coming summer and in Victoria they currently have 5% allocations – numbers that will just about see the death of our fruit, citrus, vine and dairy industries if we don’t get good spring rain). The odd things is that even when we see average rainfall our runoffs are far below average, which seems to be a direct result of warmer temperatures. Recent polls show that Australians now rate climate change as a greater threat than world terrorism. Regards, David
        ………………………….
        In the years since, I have heard of no single person who was snowed by too much BOM data the way Jones described. It might have happened. It might have been wishful projection.
        In any case, compare the David Jones guesses with data available in 2020. Sort of missed the mark, I think.
        Geoff S

  9. Loydo
    Yes you have got it !¬! THE BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AWARD ( you have worked very hard to remain stupid )

    • Steven, I very much doubt if you visited the Australian bush at all. Do yourself a favour and go see it for yourself, then come back and tell us that the fuel loads aren’t a problem.
      But please don’t try and claim that there is a “drying trend”, or that bushfires are becoming more frequent.

      • “Do yourself a favour and go see it for yourself, then come back and tell us that the fuel loads aren’t a problem.”

        Why don’t you tell that to the several fire chiefs that speak on that video.
        They know that.
        They cannot as easily burn now as the season has expanded with earlier and later fire risk conditions.

        • There will be submissions to a royal commission telling that because some of them like Steve Warrington are really attached to there $390K to tow the State Government line.

          They claim they could not clear the fuel load by invoking some random generic excuse they gave no exact details. Locals have a very different view because they had little rain in Winter due to the drought.

          At the end of the day there is a royal commission coming and that will get much clearer answers than the random claims of either side.

        • The group of ex fire chiefs were speaking on behalf of a known green activist organisation. Most of these fire chiefs were from major city fire stations, not from the bush. The bush fire chiefs have an entirely different story to tell.

          • ” The bush fire chiefs have an entirely different story to tell.”
            OK let’s hear it.
            And I would like to see proof of your … “The group of ex fire chiefs were speaking on behalf of a known green activist organisation.”

        • Anthony.

          The training and organisational doctrine which those former fire-bureaucrats oversaw and authorised, explicitly states that fuel loads ARE a problem.

          Either they were incompetent then – in which case, there is no good reason to respect them now – or they are not being truthful.

          I have been a firefighter for 40 years. Over that time, I have heard many firefighters refer to high and increasing fuel loads as the reason behind mega fires…. yet these same “Chiefs” refused to support their own personnel when doing so would embarrass the political masters. Make no mistake, the people who fill those positions are political appointees who owe their jobs to their Ministers.

          Now they are denying the reality that we face in the field, a reality that developed ON THEIR WATCH, but for which they have no desire to accept responsibility.

          Oh and yes, the “window” is getting “shorter” BECAUSE THE FUEL LOADS ARE TOO HIGH. Lighter fuels create less intense fires which are less likely to escape in dry weather, while ALSO drying more quickly after wet weather.
          When someone denies this, you know that they are being dishonest.

          Try listening, instead of arguing from authority.

  10. Good report, Paul. I grew up in Douglas County, Oregon, which, until Spotted Owl nonsense, was the heart of timber production in the USA. When I and my brother were 17 we worked the summer on a quick-response fire team for a logging company. Our daily work was to clear dead underbrush back from rural roads so tossed cigarettes, etc, would be less likely to start a fire. Yes, we fought two forest fires and it was terrifying at times. Here’s the comment: if an arsonist started a forest fire and was caught the local loggers would have dealt very harshly with them. Modern arsonists are mostly Greenies filled with hate and rage and protected by a dysfunctional legal system.

  11. ” More than 180 alleged arsonists have been arrested since the start of the 2020 bushfire season, with 29 blazes deliberately lit in part of southeast New South Wales in just three months!”

    “Fight fire with facts” is the heading, and then trots out this tired old Murdoch lie. The link given actually says, after the false headline,
    “NSW police data shows 183 people have been charged or cautioned for bushfire-related offences since November 8, and 24 arrested for deliberately starting bushfires.”

    • Dear Nick,
      Why bother with facts,

      here some folks can typeand maybe read, but obviously do not understand waht they should have read.
      Do yoyu remember the HOAX with the wrong placed weather station Anthoy posted here last summer: he got the facst from comentators but did not bother to get his fault corrected. Yoou still can reads his well documented error.
      Why should someone go for the facts, when he states in the headline “fight …wiht facts”?
      Orwell is here

  12. There is supposed to be a damage/impacts associated with climate change.
    Canada clearly has different damage/impact than Australia.
    But even in Australia there will be different damage/impact in various regions.
    Any climate change prediction must reflect this.
    The models predict region x will have a wetter spring and drier &hotter summer. The experts then say region x will have more bushfires. How can you predict more fires without this.
    If we have this data for region x -let’s see it, and compare with historic and current events.
    But also do it for region a, b, c ….
    If the above is really possible and we can predict the climate for each region we can then prove the accuracy of climate impacts for crop yields, deaths due to adverse weather ect.
    Is there a region x where any of these predictions are proven?

  13. I would have forwarded this otherwise excellent article to a California friend whose daughter happens to be gay.
    I find this site valuable for the history and science of the “climate change” fraud, leave your other biases for somewhere else, thanks.

  14. First of all, wildfires are natural occurrences, though of course they can be caused by humans, who are of course still natural causes. Natural wildfires serve important ecological purposes with significant benefits, though there are always, as in all else, winners and losers in every natural process.

    Massive wildfires are often, but not always, exacerbated by deliberate government policies of snuffing out small wildfires, and allowing too much fuel to accumulate. But some of the largest historical fires came before there was any government or even human role at all, such as the “Big Blow” (or “Great Fire”) n northern Idaho in 1910, which burned over 3 million acres. In fact, the governmental response to the Great Fire of 1910 was to form the US Forestry Service to manage the Federally-owned forests in the USA.

    In any case, all fires cause only temporary impacts – within weeks of a wildfire, the cycle begins again, with new plants being seeded by the fire itself. For humans in the path of wildfires, the impacts can be devastating, but again, in terms of the ecosystem, it is only temporary. Climax forests get replaced by grasslands which eventually get replaced by new forests which eventually mature to climax forests which eventually burn and the cycle repeats.

    Climate change, of course, also affects wildfires and the resulting changes in vegetation and animal species. But climate has always changed, and climate will always change, and there isn’t a damned thing humans can do to stop climate change.

    • One of the benefits of the Great Fire of 1910 was that when the 3 million acres of dense climax forest burnt, they were replaced initially with grasses and then a succession of various evergreen tree species, leaving large open “parks”. Prior to the Great Fire of 1910 there were relatively few elk in those forests because elk are grazers not browsers, and so need large open parks to eat and thrive, but with adjacent tree to provide protective cover. It was only decades after the Great Fire of 1910 (mid to late 20th century) that northern Idaho became a world-famous trophy elk hunting destination. Without active forest management to maintain the open park grasslands, the forest will eventually “close in”, eliminating the open parks, and the elk will move out.

      Whitetail deer, on the other hand, are browsers and not grazers, so they thrived in the pre-1910 Great Fire environment, and continued to thrive in other areas of adjacent north Idaho, and Montana and Washington, where the Great Fire did not penetrate.

      Winners and losers. Which is “better”? Great elk habitat? Or great whitetail deer habitat?

      • There is no such thing as virgin forests having a climax! That Freudian-tainted bogus theory was propounded by Frederic Clements in the 1930’s and thoroughly discredited at the time and ever since.

        Our forests need restoration to the historical norm of open and park-like with widely spaced trees and minimal fuel understories — as maintained by anthropogenic fire for millennia.

        Human beings have been managing fuels for thousands of year on every continent save Antarctica. Those are the facts. No Touch, Let It Burn, Watch It Rot is a modern insanity completely at odds with historical reality.

        Junk discredited theories based on some kind of racist anti-humanity Puritan paranoiac anti-historical anti-science politically braindeadism do not work. They fail catastrophically in the real world.

        For instance, there were 20,000+ spotted owls when Bill Clinton and Al Gore shut down management of federal forests, on the advice of quacks and frauds who knew nothing about owls. Today there are less than 4,000 owls — an 80% population decline. Whoops! At a cost of over $300 billion!

        Quackery fails. It’s the fuels, stupid. Get out of my watershed enviro dummies.

        • Dude, you don’t know what you’re talking about. This is about the natural life cycle of western evergreen forests primarily in the high mountains, and has nothing to do with with what the Indians did to start fires. The “climax” phase is when the forest is at virtually 100% coverage of the land, with fully matured trees, and becomes more or less a “mono-culture” of the same tree type where literally nothing else can grow. Such climax stages mark forests that are readily susceptible to various threats due to disease, insects, etc. When large numbers of the trees off the forest die off due to disease and insects, that creates massive amounts of fuel that eventually ignites due to any combination of drought, thunderstorms, and/or human-caused ignition. The whole thing burns out, and then the cycle starts all over again. This cycle typically lasts anywhere from 200 to 400 years.

          Yes, Native Americans have been actively managing rangelands and grasslands with purpose set fires, but no, they didn’t purposely ignite forest fires. They set range and grass fires in order to create more abundant feed for the buffalo, who were not natives of the dense evergreen forests, but of the vast grasslands of the Great Plains. Pockets of buffalo lived in open park lands in the forested Rocky Mountains, but the vast majority of buffalo lived on the Great Plains where nary a tree was in sight but for thin lines of cottonwoods and willows along creeks and rivers.

          • Dude, I do know what I’m talking about. I’ve been a professional forester for over 40 years, with advanced degrees and a lifetime of study.

            Clementsianism is discredited. Your re-definition of “climax” is fabricated nonsense. Indians did practice anthropogenic fire in all vegetation types, as did aboriginal populations around the globe. This is well-established fact supported by thousands of published research studies.

            Indians burned for a variety of reasons, including to prevent catastrophic landscape fires which would have destroyed their food and fiber and threatened their very survival. Pre-literate humans were not stupid or powerless.

            Anthropogenic fires outnumbered lightning fires by 3 orders of magnitude. Lightning ignitions burned in pre-established patches and did not range across landscapes. That’s historical fact. Your made up stories do not comport with what actually happened.

            At Contact no forests were “climax” as you describe. Instead they had widely spaced trees due to human cultural practices. All old growth is anthropogenic. Trees in thickets do reach old ages. People have managed forests here since the beginnings of the Holocene. Prior to that most currently forested land was tundra, steppe, or under ice. There is no such thing as million-year-old untouched forest, not on this continent or any other.

          • Mike,

            Thanks for posting here.

            You’re right, of course. By the onset of the Holocene, people had inhabited (or infested, if you’re a radical Green Meanie) every habitable continent. Thus there is in our interglacial no forest environment free from the benefit of human management, largely by fire.

          • Correction: trees in even=aged thickets do NOT reach old ages. They are short-lived because thickets burn with 100% mortality. I have measured hundreds of stands with old trees (>200 years) and invariably there are no more than 5 such trees per acre. The rest of the trees (500+) are young, invasive, and fire-prone.

            So how did 5 (or fewer) trees per acre survive repeated burns when constantly invaded by seedlings? They did so because the fires were frequent (3-5 years). How did that happen? It happened because the fires were regularly set by the residents who went to great pains to NOT burn their crop trees. The crops were pine nuts, acorns, or other mast fed upon by herbivores which the residents shot and ate.

            Hunter/gatherers were not idiots. They had a system. They were agronomists and zoologists, and they knew how, when, where, and why to obtain their sustenance. Repeated fires were part and parcel of those survival systems.

        • Mike.

          Much good info, which correlates well with the Australian environmental info with which I am more familiar. Would you care to recommend a good layman’s level book or source?

          • Dear Peter,

            There are so many. For Australia I recommend

            Burning Bush: A Fire History Of Australia by Stephen J. Pyne, Henry Holt and Co., 1991

            The Still-Burning Bush, also by Stephen J. Pyne, Scribe Short Books, 2006

            and anything by Roger Underwood of The Bushfire Front
            https://www.bushfirefront.org.au/

            For the USA there is no better introductory book than

            Forgotten Fires: Native Americans and the Transient Wilderness by Omer C. Stewart, Univ of Oklahoma Press, 2002

  15. On thing is for sure, the areas burned this year won’t be burning like they did for quite a few years. So if we want to live in these areas and not do what is necessary to reduce the danger of fires, Mother Nature will take care of it for us.

    Not every section of forest burned this year. Let’s see what is done to the unburnt areas after this year. Both Australia and California are representative democracies. Our representatives make the rules so we get what we vote for. If nothing changes, nothing will change.

  16. “Her [Boxall] key point is damning: “It doesn’t matter how dry the vegetation, how fierce the winds or how high the temperature; if there is no ignition, there is no wildfire.””

    Leaving out other key points she made:

    “The overall number of ignitions in California has declined since 1980, but the area burned in different parts of the state has either not changed or increased, according to research by Jon Keeley and Alexandra Syphard.”

    “It is not the number of ignitions that drives wildfire destruction. There were 8,315 fires in California in 2019 — a couple of hundred more than in the devastating 2018 season, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

    It is the conditions under which ignitions occur that matter the most. If it’s a red flag day with single-digit humidity and howling Santa Ana or Diablo winds, chances are greater that a few sparks can quickly explode into a freeway-hopping conflagration that sets entire communities ablaze.”

    • And how is spending trillions on climate change going to help that?
      but good forestry practices will make all the difference in the world

  17. Facts, facts? We don’t need no stinkin’ FACTS!!! How ’bout these?

    Here it is explained in simple English. Quantum physics is irrelevant handwavium. Ordinary physics applies just fine.

    By reflecting away 30% of the incoming solar energy the albedo, created and maintained by the atmosphere, cools the earth much like that reflective panel behind a car’s windshield.

    Remove the atmosphere and the albedo goes with it, i.e. no water vapor, no clouds, no snow and ice, no vegetation, no oceans – the earth becomes a desolate barren rock much like the moon, blazing hot lit side, bitter cold dark.

    The terrestrial surface without an atmosphere would receive 30% more kJ/h of solar energy and become warmer.

    These observations are supported by lunar studies performed by Nikolov and Kramm (Univ of AK) and data collected by the UCLA Diviner lunar mission.

    Radiative Green House Effect theory postulates exactly the opposite incorrectly claiming that a naked earth would become a -430 F ball of ice.

    No greenhouse theory means there are no greenhouse gases, no carbon dioxide warming and no man caused climate change or global warming.

    Contemplate the consequences if the statements above are correct.

    Nick Schroeder, BSME CU ‘78

  18. RobbertB: Income tax was also a state responsibility after federation, but that didn’t stop the federal government taking it over in the 1940s.

    Health, education and land are state responsibilities in the constitution, but that didn’t stop the federal government from setting up departments of health, education and the environment; over the years federal government power in these areas has increased because of financial clout (due to the federal government taking over income tax).

    So regardless of what was set out in the 1901 constitution, there are plenty of precedents for federal action in areas of state responsibility. Indeed, Australians take for granted federal authority in these precedents, and accept that the primary ’emergency’ service, the military, is a federal responsibility. So it is not surprising that there was so much expectation and demand that the federal government act when bushfires were burning on a national scale.

    What is surprising that it took so long for the current federal government to do anything in the current crisis, and that some people defend their inaction. What is even more surprising is that bushfires have not been treated as a national threat long ago, where the federal government has an important role. If we can have a national Taxation Office and a national Department of Health, why not a national Department of Emergency Services?

    • Tom Foley.

      What is really surprising is your ignorance of the fact that Federal Services and financial support have been involved for months.

      It is apparent that what people LIKE YOU want, is more grandstanding, not more action.

      What is ALSO apparent, is that this issue is being used AS AND EXCUSE to attack Morrison, by those who were his political opponents before these fires even started. It should not be surprising, but it is deeply disappointing that political opportunists like yourself are trying to make capital out of this problem.

      You aren’t helping.

      Morrison is, and has been doing so for months.
      The protocols for accessing Federal assistance have been in place for years. The funding has been in place for years. Much of the big shiny hardware is Federally funded. Those of us who actually fight fires know this. That you don’t (or pretend that you don’t) is to your discredit, not Morrison’s.

  19. I wonder about forest fires. After a forest fire, people are very careful not to cause another one (and it would be difficult anyway, with no fuel). Then forests grow back, memories fade, spotted owls become more important than fire safety, the fuel is allowed to accumulate, a new fire rages – surprise, surprise. Unprecedented?

    I see a similar development in politics. Hardly anyone remembers that nazism was socialism. We have young people, faces proudly covered with a black mask, calling themselves Antifa. They are playing with fire. They hate the system. It is not perfect – but replacing it with something much worse is not the way to go.

  20. It sounds to me like it would be beneficial to both California and Australia to buid themselves enough wood-fired electrical generating plants (like DRAX in England) to use up all this excess vegetation that is the source of all these fires.

    The wood-fired powerplants are supposedly carbon neutral so what’s the problem with using them? Both California and Australia have excess burnable wood, and they both need to clear this excess burnable matter, and they both need more electrical power so this looks like a match made in Heaven. 🙂

  21. “It doesn’t matter if Earth’s or California’s or Australia’s average annual or summer temperature is 0.1 or even 1.0 degrees warmer. Or that a drought is a day, month or year longer than X. Or whether the climate and weather fluctuations are driven by human or natural forces.”

    Of course it matters, because rumours of the fires being exacerbated by CO2 emissions influences policy.

  22. Good article in today’s London Times by Australian Telegraph hack (name not to hand but well known) which says all the right things iaw the above sentiments. Is the ice cracking ?

  23. The truth is always true like false accusations is and supported facts like rising seas flooding Florida and the expansions of oceans .self imposed ignorance is standard ploy here . And self aniliation follows its republican leadership I pray to fumble .in all manners .

  24. Bogus ploy again repeated by millions of ignorant republicans as trumps puppets same o same o pathetic !

  25. Bringing up arson is important because one can, and did, destroy a small town. It’s really important to not link CC with these fires in extreme propaganda as happened earlier in the bush fire season. It wouldn’t be the motivation for many to light a fire and fires would start for other reasons, regardless, but certainly some in dense bushland near populated areas would have been lit by an extremist sent over the edge by the propaganda.

    Prevention, though, can only be done with controlled burns to stop such large catastrophes.

  26. But surely without man’s intervention periodic fires are the natural way. My advice is don’t build near to woodland and leave life to nature. How’s that Greta?

  27. I can not figure why the history of the massive fire in Clearlake, California in the summer of 1957 is nowhere to be found. The fire occurred around August 1957. My parents took my brother and myself north to Trinity Co for the first time to go fishing for steelhead. We left around 4 am. I remember my parents dragging me out of bed. We drove across the Golden Gate Bridge and up Highway 101.

    The first sign of the fire was in upper Sonoma county. Lake county sits to the east of Sonoma. My mom woke me up to witness the blaze as we drove north in our 1950 Ford. The sky to the east was ablaze with flames shooting many hundreds of feet into the sky. The fire was around 40 to 50 miles away from us to the east, but it lit up the entire area. It took about an hour of highway driving to get past that massive blaze. That was the summer where Clearlake burned completely. Yet there is no longer a record of this fire to be readily found. How does such a massive blaze get left out of history?

  28. In a recent video by David Dubyne (Adapt 2030) which was taken a few months ago at a conference, he refers to record breaking snow in california – 2018/2019 which would lead to increased growth of plants that would then lead to more fires and blame being put on CO2. He also pointed out that Australia has had increased rains 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 – with water flowing off Ayers rock – with the statement that it has led to increased greening in the outback.

    No mention of fire there but put two and two together and you dont need a degree to work it out. More greenery which increases fuel load – in both california and australia – leading to more fires…

  29. And… while lots of pseudoskeptic better-knowers feel since months the perverse need to explain Australia what it does all wrong when fighting against bush fires, three courageous American firefighters unluckily died due to the crash of their tanker plane, while trying to help their Australian colleagues:

    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2020/01/23/incendies-en-australie-trois-pompiers-americains-tues-dans-le-crash-de-leur-avion-citerne_6026971_3210.html

    What about sending all these better-knowers to Australia, Donald Trump? What does the great POTUS think?

    Jean-Pierre Dehottay

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