The shape of infernos to come: the NSW super fires as precursor to future catastrophes

Sydney_Fires

Smoke this morning near Camden NSW, image @scottedougherty via Instagram

If you want a glimpse of the future and a foretaste of what a climate change has in store for Australia, then look no further to the unfolding catastrophe in New South Wales.

The NSW government has taken the extraordinary step of declaring a state of emergency. It gives emergency services extended powers to manage the threat to life and property. For the next 30 days police and other emergency services will have the power to forcibly evacuate populations and shut down utilities in threatened areas.

However the worst of it is far from over.

By the middle of this week conditions threaten to create a “super fire”. Three large fires burning in the Blue Mountains are at risk of joining up, creating a monster fire. Hundreds of thousands residents on the outskirts of Western Sydney may be directly impacted or face mandatory evacuation.

Already the cost has been high. Hundreds of homes have been lost, while one resident died defending his home.

One cannot find fault with work fires services in NSW battling the fires consuming the Blue Mountains and other parts of the state. Hundreds of fire-fighters are coming from states such as Victoria to assist. The courage and dedication of fire fighters has rightly been praised. Without doubt their efforts have saved lives and prevented an even greater tragedy.

But let’s not pretend climate change is not a factor, for surely it is.

NSW is experiencing the “worst bushfire disaster in 45 years” and it’s far from over.

It is the month of October, early spring, far from what has been traditionally the height of Australia’s bushfire season. While it is worth noting fires are not uncommon in early spring, the scale and intensity of the fires we’re seeing is unprecedented.

In an interview with ABC Radio, Victorian Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley drew the connection:

“Some may say it’s part of climate change, it probably is, the fact we’re seeing a different climatic condition coming across to affect the south-eastern side of Australia, (is) really important for us to understand this summer…”

For much of this year experts have been discussing and warning us about fires such as these. Their reasoning is simple and straight forward, readily understood by anyone with the willingness and wit to accept the science.

The world is warming thanks to human activities. As a consequence we’re loading the dice in favour of more extreme weather events through increased greenhouse emissions. The physics and chemistry is indisputable.

Bushfires have been a regular feature of the Australian environment. However, a warming planet creates conditions where the genesis of infernos like that raging in NSW are more likely.

While some have sought to “normalise” the fires as simply one more example of Australia’s sometimes harsh environment, the situation is unprecedented.

To draw attention to these unprecedented extremes is not to “politicise” the NSW’s bushfire tragedy: it is merely drawing attention to the inevitable consequences of global warming.

As Australians it is imperative we understand and talk about the connection between climate change and the increasing frequency and ferocity of these fires.

Thus, attempts by conservative politicians and parts of the media to shut down anyone who makes the obvious connection politicises the issue.

It is also doubly insidious act of censorship and control.

Firstly, these attempts at censorship are not made to spare the feelings of the victims of the fires, but to distract the Australian public from making the obvious connection.

Secondly, for decades Murdoch’s media empire and conservatives have preached climate change is either non-existent or a trivial problem. But when the impacts of climate change hits hundreds of thousands of ordinary Australians, as they are in NSW right now, it is simply not possible for the sceptics to back track on decades of denial and obstruction.

To accept the problem as real, and draw the connection between climate change and the NSW inferno would be an admission of their culpability. Thus their desperate, indeed shrill, demand that no-one talk about climate change even when the worst of it is upon our communities. Their only true concern is that of their own reputation and the preservation of their world view.

This spring and the summer that will soon be upon us are precursors to years of climate disruption.

From this point forward, indeed the next several centuries, will be a time of increasing struggle and attempts hold off total collapse. The challenges will slowly ratchet up, and for a time most will not appreciate their connections. But slowly, and perhaps far too late, the pattern will emerge to even the most oblivious.

Paul Gilding in his book The Great Disruption offers valuable insight into what the future may bring:

“The science on this is now clear and accepted by any rational observer. While an initial look at the public debate may suggest controversy, any serious examination of the peer-reviewed conclusions of leading science bodies shows the core direction we are heading is now clear. Things do not look good…”

Gilding notes we should expect an “economic and social hurricane”:

“The science says we have physically entered a period of grate change, a synchronized, related crash of the economy and the ecosystem, with food shortages, climate catastrophes, massive economic change and global political instability. It has been forecast for decades, and the moment has now arrived…”

Without doubt we are witnessing the first stirrings of this period of transition and disruption. Get ready for each summer to be a time of high anxiety, of emergency declarations and the acrid smell of smoke.

Already I fear the day when Melbourne will experience a tragedy that will surpass the Black Saturday fires of 2009. The source of my concern?

Projections point to a time, well before 2100, when Melbourne will experience a 50 degree day. It is almost impossible to imagine the impacts of such extremes. But the portents and signs are there for those willing to look and draw the necessary lessons.

Go, turn on your television and stare into the fire and at the charred remains of streets and homes.

The shape of future infernos is there, taking form in the Blue Mountains.

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135 thoughts on “The shape of infernos to come: the NSW super fires as precursor to future catastrophes

  1. […] However the events of this week are also a harbinger of the shape fires and political disruption to come. […]

  2. J Giddeon says:

    Well not deleted but the entire contents “CUT”.

  3. J Giddeon says:

    “Then followed a campaign of abuse and the poster was banned a week or so later, although, some of his/her posts were deleted so its hard to know if there were other circumstances as well.”

    Mike, do you delete posts? I remember being accused of that and was quite annoyed as in my experience it is only people like Anthony Watts and Bob Tisdale that make comments disappear without a trace without any sort of explanation.

    http://uknowispeaksense.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/bob-tisdale-making-comments-disappear/
    http://uknowispeaksense.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/anthony-watts-words-are-sancrosanct-just-ask-him/

  4. Ian Smith says:

    Hi, I’m new to this site, and while I thought the article thoughtful, it’s not clear who wrote it.

    However, I must make some observations on the metaconversations in these comments, based on experience in online conferences, message boards, mailing lists, forums and blogs since the early ’90s, pre-internet, including moderation of a number of these over the years.

    I know we’re watching the deniers, but the tactics on display here by an apparently small group of commentators is incredibly counterproductive to achieving that aim, and I’m rather surprised that the behaviour of one (1) troll has succeeded in hijacking this post beyond redemption. Which is exactly the purpose of trolling; to distract, draw attention to oneself, thereby having a wonderfully – and successfully – destructive effect on useful discussion.

    DFTT – Don’t Feed The Troll/s – is ancient online wisdom, and the =only= thing that has ever worked. Every response, particularly angry and/or abusive responses, are an absolute win for the troll. It’s their raison d’etre, and if we’re gping to learn how to deal with denialists, we are obliged to learn that attempting to educate, or correct, or repudiate them on foruns such as these this is not only pointless, it’s destructive.

    Just ignore them. Really, this can be hard; it takes discipline, and it takes determination. By all means reference them in the third person, clue new participants in – just “don’t feed the troll” often suffices, or raise it in metaconversation, but as soon as you address them directly, you lose, by definition.

    You can attribute all sorts of motives; are they in the pay of the growth pusherman, are they just stupid, are they trying to hurt your grandchilden, whatever. It doesn’t matter, and you may never know. If you feed them, whatever you feed them, they grow stronger, and if you starve them of the oxygen of dissent, they wither. Its up to (all of) you.

    Thanks, Ian

    • john byatt says:

      Question. are they all trolls or just ignorant retards?

      the ABC comments section
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-22/gilding-now-is-the-time-to-talk-about-climate-change/5038006#comments

      trolls come and go here, most are concern trolls,

    • Good advice Ian

      I have been guilty of feeding these morons myself over here at WtD despite my best efforts to ignore them. I will endeavour to ignore them again and I urge my fellow commentators to do the same.

      I will also say to Mike, in addition to what I have said in the past, the trolls need this blog more than this blog needs the trolls.

    • J Giddeon says:

      I’ve tended to avoid responding to these accusation that I’m a troll, but Mr Smith has been more than polite in his criticism so I’ll take this one opportunity (I won’t do it again) to set out my views on the accusations.

      I’m not a troll. I belong to any number of other groups where my views are mainstream and do not cause outrage. But here my views are controversial.

      I couldn’t care less if I posted data about this or that issue, and no one responded. I’m simply posting my views. A troll posts unsupported (and often unsupportable) assertions but I’ve always sought to back up my points either immediately or, if challenged, later.

      In my view the problem here is that many (most?) members come here as a form of communion. Its a place where they can gather and reinforce to each other how very clever tey are in accepting the science and how superior they are as compared to those deniers. As such they aren’t open to or interested in hearing alternate views.

      Even worse, given that the self-image is of people much smarter than mere deniers, is when they are shown to be in error. Rodger, for example, while always hostile has become positively deranged since I pointed out that he had failed to understand the Curry paper after he’d asserted that he’d read it twice to ensure he understood it.

      Equally, if you read back through past threads you’ll see another ‘denier’ who was subjected to outraged and outrageous abuse and finally booted out after finding and pointing out a monumental error by Mr Byatt.

      One of the attributes of a troll is abuse of others. Yet I’ve tried very hard to not respond to abuse from the members and have only rarely responded in kind despite a regular menu of “retard”, “moron” and the like and being informed that I either co-habitate with a blow-up doll or my mother.

      I’m not here to deliberately anger the group. I’m here because the only way to advance is to have your views exposed to criticism. There’s no point being in a group where your views are universally accepted. I want to be challenged although I prefer it to be with data rather than infantile abuse.

      If Mike wants to have his blog become one where everyone furiously agrees with everyone else, then he is but a click away from achieving that. But until he decides to excommunicate me, I’ll stay, abuse and name-calling notwithstanding.

      • john byatt says:

        you have just acted like a troll

        “finally booted out after finding and pointing out a monumental error by Mr Byatt.’

        please explain this nonsense

        you have weird ideas like ” the global anomaly can be ascertained from the centre of Antarctica’

        did not have a clue how to work out rate of growth in yearly atmospheric increases of CO2,”

        and that is just a start of your zombie like stupidity

        not here to anger

        you do not anger your stupidity is frustrating when after being given the science your next comment is to declare that your were correct ,

        troll? fuckwit with numerous cyber puppet names

        • J Giddeon says:

          “please explain this nonsense”

          Do I really need to go back and get the data on this again? Do you deny it?
          In a thread a few months back you asserted that hundreds of millions of people die yearly due to (carbon?) pollution. After several attempts to hide the error you were finally forced to admit error. Then followed a campaign of abuse and the poster was banned a week or so later, although, some of his/her posts were deleted so its hard to know if there were other circumstances as well. I can go back and get the exact wording and thread if you like, but it would just involve more embarrassment.

          “” the global anomaly can be ascertained from the centre of Antarctica’

          Despite the quote signs I didn’t say that.

          “did not have a clue how to work out rate of growth in yearly atmospheric increases of CO2,”

          Actually you drew our attention to the site but had no idea how they got their numbers. When you tried to explain it you mistook raw numbers for percentages. Its true that I couldn’t initially work it out either because their description of their processes was woefully bad, but after a few hours fiddling with their dodgy formula I did nut it out AND demonstrated the flaws in their processes.

          “numerous cyber puppet names”
          Evidence?

        • john byatt says:

          J Giddeon says:
          October 23, 2013 at 2:38 am
          “please explain this nonsense”

          Do I really need to go back and get the data on this again? Do you deny it?
          In a thread a few months back you asserted that hundreds of millions of people die yearly due to (carbon?) pollution. After several attempts to hide the error you were finally forced to admit error. Then followed a campaign of abuse and the poster was banned a week or so later, although, some of his/her posts were deleted so its hard to know if there were other circumstances as well. I can go back and get the exact wording and thread if you like, but it would just involve more embarrassment.

          YES YOU DO BECAUSE YOU ARE ACCUSING MIKE OF BANNING SOMEONE BECAUSE OF THAT, I DO NOT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT ME BUT YOU HAVE CLAIMED THAT MIKE HAS BANNED SOMEONE EXPRESSLY DUE TO THAT

          “” the global anomaly can be ascertained from the centre of Antarctica’

          Despite the quote signs I didn’t say that.

          BILL STATED THAT AND YOU BACKED HIM 100%,SO NOW BILL APPEARS TO BE GONE YOU THROW HIM UNDER A BUS AND DENY IT?

          “did not have a clue how to work out rate of growth in yearly atmospheric increases of CO2,”

          Actually you drew our attention to the site but had no idea how they got their numbers. When you tried to explain it you mistook raw numbers for percentages. Its true that I couldn’t initially work it out either because their description of their processes was woefully bad, but after a few hours fiddling with their dodgy formula I did nut it out AND demonstrated the flaws in their processes.

          tHE SITE EXPLANATION WAS SPOT ON, YOU COULD NOT UNDERSTAND IT, BOTH OF YOU BELIEVED THAT IT WAS RELATED TO THE GROWTH RATE OF THE TOTAL RATHER THAN THE YEARLY INCREASE, USING THE FIRST YEAR INCREASE FROM THAT DATE AS THE STARTING POINT

          LETS SAY FIRST YEAR INCREASE 1PPM.. EACH YEAR IS THEN INCREASED 2.2% FROM THAT, YOU WROTE HALF A PAGE AND STILL DID NOT UNDERSTAND IT YET IT WAS AS SIMPLE AS IT COULD BE

          “numerous cyber puppet names”
          Evidence?

          PROVE THAT YOU USE THE SAME NAME ON THESE SITES AS YOU USE HERE

          ” I belong to any number of other groups where my views are mainstream”

        • john byatt says:

          giddeon first claims “Equally, if you read back through past threads you’ll see another ‘denier’ who was subjected to outraged and outrageous abuse and finally booted out after finding and pointing out a monumental error by Mr Byatt.”

          then the slimy little troll says

          “some of his/her posts were deleted so its hard to know if there were other circumstances as well”

          so he makes the claim outright and in the very next comment admits that he does not have a clue”

          lack of consistency is the hallmark of a denier

        • J Giddeon says:

          Come on JB, this is just a dishonest deliberate misreading of what I wrote.

          The poster found a very big error from you. The error was pointed out with some glee. Abuse ensued. A warning was issued for responding to that abuse. Some of the poster’s comments were deleted/cut. Were they about the same subject or another? I don’t know. Those cut posts caused a third warning. The poster was banned..

        • john byatt says:

          ” Were they about the same subject or another? I don’t know. Those cut posts caused a third warning. The poster was banned.

          yet you had the hide to state

          “Equally, if you read back through past threads you’ll see another ‘denier’ who was subjected to outraged and outrageous abuse and finally booted out after finding and pointing out a monumental error by Mr Byatt”

          do you wish to try again?

          now who was this poster?

        • john byatt says:

          here it is

          a typo

          http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/do-the-maths-bill-mckibben-argues-for-divestment-reprint/#comment-41270

          and the bloke was mark, there appears to be no abuse as you claim nor any banning, can you find it ?

        • john byatt says:

          here was a warning to mark well after the coal pollution typo

          Watching the Deniers says:
          June 16, 2013 at 2:49 am
          Hi Mark, you need references to otherwise these are merely assertions. Please see guidelines regarding scientific claims:

          http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/about/community-and-discussion-guidelines/

          > When making any claim (scientific or otherwise) provide references (links if possible) for others to evaluate your argument/s – repeated failure to do so may result in disciplinary action
          > Avoid “Gish Gallops”: long posts with multiple claims not supported by evidence – repeated failure to do so may result in disciplinary action

          You’ve breached two of the guidelines in that post, please be more specific Mark.

          AN APOLOGY IS OWING TO BOTH MYSELF AND TO MIKE

        • Gregory T says:

          Here is a good example of his ability to do research.
          J Giddeon says:
          October 16, 2013 at 8:33 am
          OK.

          So was there someone else kicked out for inappropriately talking to WUWT? I must admit, when reading the old threads I only skimmed so maybe I got mixed up.

        • john byatt says:

          so an apology is coming for your previous lies or not?

        • J Giddeon says:

          Show me a lie I’ll apologise because, unlike you, I’m honourable and have pride in my honour.

        • J Giddeon says:

          ““did not have a clue how to work out rate of growth in yearly atmospheric increases of CO2,”

          Whether you think you re-write the facts in the hope no one notices, or are too thick to follow the original discussion or just happy to falsify and bluff your way through, you are wrong here.

          Here’s how it went down.

          the site you relied on said this of their methods: “An exponential rise is exactly the way your money grows if you put it into a savings account with continuous compounding of your balance, leaving the interest in.” they then said rate of increase was 2.2%. When I pointed out that that was completely bonkers since a compounding 2.2% increase would cause the CO2 levels to double every 33 years, you were completely flummoxed and retreated. When Rodger mistook actual ppm increases for %age increases you grabbed at that straw until it was shown as equally bonkers.

          After working on it overnight I worked it out and wrote as follows:
          “what they are really saying is that there is an increase in the rate of increase by 2.2%. It’d be like putting your money in the bank at 10% and then getting 10.022% next year and then 10.024%(sic) the year after and so on so that by year 33 you’re getting 20%pa. Not at all as they explained it. Its probably an arguable analysis but doesn’t really fit the known data with any sort of consistency.

          What they appear to have done is just data fit using two end point – 1958 and 2008. The formula they postulate at the end of article is pretty accurate for those end points. But the further you get from 1958 the worse it becomes as a predictive tool, so that by the mid 1980′s it completely useless. Then as we move closer to 2008 it gets better because it was designed to be accurate for 2008.

          Interestingly, as we move from 2008 forward it is getting worse each year. For each year from 2008 to 2012 the formula predicts a higher CO2 level than was actually achieved. Unless there is some massive increase in the rate of CO2 accumulation this in-built error in the formula will get larger just as it did between 1958 and 1988.”

          You then tried to bluff it through by suggesting you always knew this
          while at the same time demonstrating that you still didn’t get it.

      • Nick says:

        A link to Tim Blair is a means of ‘advance’? Yours is a strange path, Giddeon! Sigh.

        • J Giddeon says:

          A little levity (especially here) doesn’t go astray.

          you won’t agree but I see TimBlair as a national treasure. Some of his gems:

          Invented Blair’s Law http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Blair's+law

          Fantasy headline – Muslim leaders fear a racist backlash following tomorrow’s suicide bombing

          Following Leslie Nielsen’s death: “Leslie Nielsen died today at a Florida Hospital. It’s a big building with doctors and patients, but that’s not important right now. RIP. “

        • Nick says:

          A little further levity, because I’m laughing at him: The professional troll Blair is subject to his own law: he’s part of the News Ltd collective idiocy. Bolt, Blair, Devine, Akerman plus the IPA alumni in the op-ed pages of the failed newspaper The Oz…all factually deficient, incorrigible, censorious, authoritarian hypocrites and professional hate-speakers.

          If there was ever a collective, useless force, it’s Blair and cohorts and their value to public discourse.

        • J Giddeon says:

          I don’t think you quite understood what Blair’s Law is about.

        • Nick says:

          Oh, I get it, Timmy’s Law can only be used by Timmy and his intellectual dependents to mock Teh Left…hey, Gids, you great freedom lovin’ individualist, it’s OK , he’s not listening. You can take a few steps on your own, or is that forbidden at the Blair Collective? Blair’s Law describes an intellectual and spiritual constipation of deluded fellow travellers, into which Blair himself is comfortably locatable.

          Blair’s Law: in which “the world’s multiple idiocies” : reactionary ‘journalists’, neo-liberals, ecological illiterates, economic fools, opinionated inadequates like Mark Steyn, Muslim baters, academic bashers, art ridiculers, agnotolgists, God-botherers, cigarette smokers, those like Blair who decry political correctness while removing dissenters from their blogs…..“are becoming one giant useless force”….has Blair ever done anything useful in his life [besides baby-sitting people like you]?

          The man’s just a facile scribbler, like Bolt, scared shitless of inconvenient unfamiliar expertise and knowledge. A professional bully, cultivating bemusement at the ‘odd’ ways of those outside his narrow existence…. groomed by News Ltd to routinely bash selected targets on behalf of the Telegraph’s unfortunate readers.

        • J Giddeon says:

          No its more about how strange bedfellows come together on the basis of the enemy of my enemy is my friend. eg the progressive left and radical islamists unite against Israel

        • Nick says:

          If Blair had any spirit he’d be opposed to the progressive Left, radical Islam and the state of Israel…

          What is it with these apologists for that state’s extremism? Oh,that’s it… .they’re captives of Blair’s Law.

        • john byatt says:

          If he cannot understand this nick you have no hope from link

          Details:
          For the graph on the right, the measured CO2 levels (black line) at Mauna Loa are those taken by C. D. Keeling and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 1958 on. Also see section two of the “Climate Change Debate” blog for previous CO2 levels.

          The red line in the graph is the best fit to the data starting in 1958 and is specifically given by:
          CO2 level = 280*( 1+exp(0.0222(year-2052)) ). This formula gives the projected CO2 level in parts per million (ppm) for any year from 1958 on, assuming the growth rate is constant at 2.22%.

        • J Giddeon says:

          Well JB, since you understand this so well I’m sure you’ve looked at my claims as follows:

          “Interestingly, as we move from 2008 forward it [the predictive formula results] is getting worse each year. For each year from 2008 to 2012 the formula predicts a higher CO2 level than was actually achieved. Unless there is some massive increase in the rate of CO2 accumulation this in-built error in the formula will get larger just as it did between 1958 and 1988.”

          Care to explain where that is wrong.

  5. john byatt says:

    Abbott was hoping that the bushfire/climate change connection would be ignored

    all over the TV stns this afternoon

    tough titty giddiot

  6. john byatt says:

    Morrison is a nasty piece of work officially declaring boat people illegal , in the race to the bottom between labor and libs, morrison would be hard to beat

    http://www.humanrights.gov.au/publications/asylum-seekers-and-refugees

    Australia has international obligations to protect the human rights of all asylum seekers and refugees who arrive in Australia, regardless of how or where they arrive and whether they arrive with or without a visa.

    While asylum seekers and refugees are in Australian territory (or otherwise engage Australia’s jurisdiction), the Australian Government has obligations under various international treaties to ensure that their human rights are respected and protected. These treaties include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). These rights include the right not to be arbitrarily detained.

    • J Giddeon says:

      Its illegal to arrive here without a visa and/or passport. Can’t imagine why he’d want to call them illegals.

      It must be a real worry that the numbers of boats and illegals are in rapid decline. A boat that arrived t’other day from Sri Lanka had 79 seekers. 73 were returned almost immediately after it was found that they had no case for claiming asylum. The rest are being held due to health concerns, showing how we honour our international obligations

      That’s how to run a boarder policy.

      • “Its illegal to arrive here without a visa and/or passport. Can’t imagine why he’d want to call them illegals.”

        No, it isn’t. Not if you’re seeking asylum. Do you think a woman fleeing the Taliban can just wander down to her local post office and grab a passport application and then say “Thank you, now if you’d be so kind as to direct me to the Australian embassy, I need to speak to them about acquiring a visa.”

        Explain to me why, under both Labor and Liberal governments, thousands of “illegals” who arrived by boat were granted protection visas, if it’s so obvious they were breaking some law.

      • Rodger the Dodger says:

        ‘That’s how to run a boarder policy.’

        What is it with stupid climate zombie trolls and their atrocious spelling and grammar . It’s border you stupid dingbat. Why should anyone want to hear anything from an illiterate retarded fruit loop of a climate zombie troll like you.

        I call on everyone on this website to do your worst against this repeat offender troll. Trolls deserve no sympathy. They deserve to have their noses rubbed into the shit that they keep throwing everywhere. All they ever do is just stink up the place.

        • john byatt says:

          J Giddeon says:
          October 21, 2013 at 8:10 am
          Its illegal to arrive here without a visa and/or passport. Can’t imagine why he’d want to call them illegals.

          no it is not

          “Australia has international obligations to protect the human rights of all asylum seekers and refugees who arrive in Australia, regardless of how or where they arrive and whether they arrive with or without a visa.”

          just how stupid did playing with two dongers make this zombie ?

        • john byatt says:

          http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/f/who-conv.php

          Article 31: Refugees unlawfully in the country of refuge

          Article 31 of the Refugee Convention prohibits states parties from imposing penalties on refugees who, when coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened, enter or are present in their territory without authorisation, provided they present themselves without delay to the authorities and can show good cause for their illegal entry or presence.

          This Article recognises that refugees have a lawful right to enter a country for the purposes of seeking asylum, regardless of how they arrive or whether they hold valid travel or identity documents. As such, what otherwise be considered illegal actions (eg. entering a country without a visa) should not be treated as such if a person is seeking asylum. This means that it is incorrect to refer to asylum seekers who arrive without authorisation as “illegal”, as they in fact have a lawful right to do so if they are seeking asylum.

          Article 31 also prohibits states parties from restricting the freedom of movement of refugees who arrive without authorisation, with the exception of restrictions necessary for regularising their status. Furthermore, such restrictions should be applied only until their status in the country is regularised or they obtain admission into another country.

        • J Giddeon says:

          “They deserve to have their noses rubbed into the shit ”
          still got that Coprophagia fetish I see.

        • Rodger the Dodger says:

          still got that Coprophagia fetish I see.

          You are the one who eats shit. We all think what you do is disgusting. That’s what brainless trolls who can’t spell do, it’s in their nature. Shit like the Daily Telegraph, Bolt and the IPA.

      • J Giddeon says:

        ABC (and we know the ABC never lies, right?) Fact Checker:

        The verdict:Mr Morrison is correct.

        • Scrolled straight to the bottom did you?

          “Experts contacted by ABC Fact Check say it is not appropriate to use “illegal” when specifically describing asylum seekers or refugees.

          Professor Jane McAdam, director of the International Refugee and Migration Law Project at the University of New South Wales, says that “asylum seekers are not illegal under international law”.

          “By ratifying the Refugee Convention, governments agree precisely not to treat asylum seekers as illegal,” Professor McAdam said.

          Professor Andreas Schloenhardt, from the University of Queensland law school took a similar view, saying “the terms ‘asylum seeker’ and ‘illegal’ should not be used together or in the same sentence”.”

        • and this…

          “The situation is less straightforward when the term “illegal” is used more broadly.

          Any person arriving in Australia without a visa, including an asylum seeker, is an “unlawful non-citizen” under Australian law.

          Mr Morrison can rely upon the definition of “illegal entry” in the people smuggling protocol, which Australia signed and ratified, so long as he makes it clear that he is doing so.

          However, experts warn that the use of the terms “illegal” and “unlawful” in this context is potentially misleading, as they are words usually applied to criminal acts.

          Professor Schloenhardt told ABC Fact Check that it is acceptable to refer to people coming to Australia without visas (including those who are not asylum seekers) as “illegal immigrants”.

          However, on a practical level, he says that “illegal implies that a criminal offence has been committed, which asylum seekers have not, and for that reason it is preferable to use different vocabulary”.

          Ellen Hansen from the Canberra office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees told ABC Fact Check that “the term ‘illegal’ is not one that UNHCR uses or encourages the use of in relation to refugees or asylum-seekers arriving without a visa”.

          Other terminology is available. Professor Schloenhardt said international organisations prefer to use the term “irregular migrant”.”

          So, while Morrison might be technically correct, his use of the word is a deliberate attempt to cast asylum seekers in a negative light and in so doing, appeal to the ignorant xenophobic and loony right. Your desire to defend him speaks volumes about your humanity and morals.

        • J Giddeon says:

          Yes, some said this and some said that and some said the other. And the verdict was….I’ll leave you to work it out.

        • Rodger the Dodger says:

          What was that illiterate troll who can’t spell?

        • john byatt says:

          you are the one who could not work it out, what the hell is wrong with you, you appear to be just another sad loser with an axe to grind about life,

          obviously as you play with yourself a lot you cannot even attract a female companion, sad pathetic little wanker you are

        • J Giddeon says:

          You’re right. Despite my efforts I can’t attract a female companion. I think its got something to do with my wife always being around :)

          Man, you guys are losing it big time.

        • john byatt says:

          what that blow up thing you have on the bed ?

        • Rodger the Dodger says:

          “J Giddeon says:
          October 22, 2013 at 6:44 am
          You’re right. Despite my efforts I can’t attract a female companion. I think its got something to do with my wife always being around”

          That’s not your wife you blind troll. That’s your mother.
          Man, what a sick bastard you are.

    • Nick says:

      Morrison being the authoritarian asshole? Just more COALition branding. The only thing changed is the rhetoric: Morrison objected to the Labor rhetoric, and installs his own. Sums up the new government: posturing is more important than substance.

      • J Giddeon says:

        ” The only thing changed is the rhetoric”

        Well that and the number of arrivals. Oh and the co-operation of Indonesia Oh and the rapidity of some assessments.
        But other than that nothing’s changed.

        • Rodger the Dodger says:

          That’s right nothing has changed. You are still a dumpy illiterate clueless troll who can’t even spell. What a loser. How on earth could you have a single coherent thought?

          POP. Oh, no. Your single brain cell just overloaded.

        • john byatt says:

          giddeon that comment was eighteen hours ago, stop filling the blog with troll crap

        • Rodger the Dodger says:

          Look out, it’s Gidiot the angry troll who can’t even spell singing his version of I’m a little teapot.

          STOMP, STOMP, STOMP

          I’m an angry troller, short and stout
          Here is my brain cell, i’ve stamped it out.
          When I get all steamed up,
          I just shout,
          Look mummy, I’m a lout.

          Gidiot, you are a complete disgrace. When are you going stop fouling this thread up with your worthless shit?

        • Nick says:

          The number of arrivals has changed? How would you know, with Morrison’s ‘adults in charge’ blackout? The co-operation of Indonesia? ROFL. That country is incapable of making firm undertakings from Djakarta about a lot of what happens in the provinces, where a quasi feudal military rule occurs. Of course they are going to make encouraging noises, and Tony cannot rub their noses in their own impotence.

          The rapidity of assessments is a measure of how contemptuous this new government is of process. Trust you to cheer a retrograde indicator.

          Gids, you have to face it, you’re quite a nasty piece of work. See what your ideology is doing to you?

        • J Giddeon says:

          “The number of arrivals has changed?”
          3 last week, 2 the week before.

          ” How would you know, with Morrison’s ‘adults in charge’ blackout?”
          They are giving weekly updates.

          The co-operation of Indonesia? ROFL”

          Well, when you get off the floor you can update yourself….

          “Yesterday, Indonesian police in the province of Banten captured 240 would-be asylum-seekers, a reminder that the smuggling trade remains active, despite a marked drop in boat arrivals”http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/families-and-children-face-stay-on-christmas-island-as-png-transfers-in-doubt/story-fn9hm1gu-1226744122598

          “The rapidity of assessments is a measure of how contemptuous this new government is of process.”

          79 Sri Lankans arrived on one of the above 3 boats. There is no basis for most Sri Lankans seeking asylum (even the UN goes along with that) and 73 were returned within 24 hrs. Economic refugees are no longer welcome.

          After years of being told it was about push factors (and the more dull among us believing it) it turns out that ALP was wrong. Who’d have thunk it.

        • john byatt says:

          listen you uncaring prick, I happen to welcome these people to Australia, you retards are whining due to nothing more than your own selfish attitude and needing people to blame for your own pathetic lives,

          with a name like giddeon you sound like am immigrant yourself

        • Rodger the Dodger says:

          You are the most retarded troll. Even your cohort has been smart enough not to post here. Now just remove your stink.

          For those who are interested check this out.

          http://www.theguardian.com/media/2012/jun/12/how-to-deal-with-trolls

          “1. Know your troll. A troll is someone who persistently seeks to derail rational discourse through mindless abuse, needling, hectoring, or even threats of violence. A troll is not someone who disagrees with you, dislikes your work or disapproves of your moral choices. That’s an idiot.”

          Gidiot is both an idiot and a troll.

        • Nick says:

          Wow, a couple of weeks numbers and you can spot a trend: that IS completely consistent with the way you treat climate numbers,bozo! So Labor’s me tooism has cut the boat numbers? Who knows?

          The smuggling trade remains active? Yep.

          No basis for most Sri Lankans seeking asylum? Glad they can figure that out in NO TIME at all… must have been Greg Sheridan’s ‘Red Cross visit to Terezin’ moment that makes Sri Lanka’s dictatorship hunky dory.

          It wasn’t the ALP telling us about push factors , it was the rest of the rational world, troll.

        • J Giddeon says:

          “Wow, a couple of weeks numbers and you can spot a trend”

          I didn’t mention a trend Nick. I just observed that the numbers have changed since the new policies have been implemented,

          People who claim to be oh so compassionate toward theses refugees ought to be cheering since less boats means less deaths at sea. But somehow they seem less than overjoyed. Can’t imagine why.

        • Nick says:

          J. Gids…you need help understanding the implicit,don’t you?

          Why bother mentioning one or two weeks figures in this context if not implicitly claiming that the situation -and thus the trend– has ‘improved’ due to the ‘change’ of policy??

          “I didn’t mention a trend…just mentioned the numbers have changed” Are you really that obtuse? No trend, but the numbers ‘have changed’? Chuckle.

          Not interested in a trend, but have to tell us that the numbers ‘have changed’. You so obviously do not mean to point out the trivial “they change every week”, which they do. No, the change you mean is an inflexion in a trend. All the policy makers want to effect a change in the trend, but you want to pretend you’re just mentioning numbers? Snort.

          And your last para is just obnoxious smear.

          You are a bad faith communicator, with an obvious agenda and an indifference to any kind of consistency, substance or logic.

        • J Giddeon says:

          Nup

          Your asserted that “The only thing changed is the rhetoric”

          I pointed out that actually quite a few things have changed along with the rhetoric. But I specifically didn’t claim a trend which implies a long term change. I’m well aware that the smugglers might, and probably will, attempt to ramp up the numbers to salvage their businesses. But, contra your assertions, their is substance to the changes.

          As to the “And your last para is just obnoxious smear.” if you show me where the refugee advocacy industry are expressing joy at the reduced potential drownings, I’ll stand corrected.

        • Nick says:

          Good lord. Do you expect me to take that seriously? You mention numbers have dropped, but you never added the caveat that there is too little data to make any valid point with those numbers! You could have done that, you know, if you wanted to.

          Does the ‘refugee advocacy industry’ have to make explicit what is bleeding obvious? Do they have to make a daily statement to prove their humanitarian bona fides? Are they really indifferent to deaths at sea, and only the shock-jocks and xenophobes are showing a compassion that motivates them above all else.

          You’re sick. Really. Bolt and the Libs had Rudd ‘luring refugees to their deaths’. Now you’ve got refugee advocates ‘indifferent to deaths’….mate, some shock-jock has stolen your brain and soul.

        • J Giddeon says:

          Wow. You asserted that nothing had changed. I was pointing out that something had changed. That was my one and only point. Had I realised that you would then decide to change the point so as to avoid admitting that your original assertion was wrong, maybe I would have written all the caveats in the world although I have to admit that I might have struggled to guess how many different ways you could reinterpret the discussion.

        • john byatt says:

          J Giddeon says:
          October 23, 2013 at 3:30 am
          Wow. You asserted that nothing had changed. I was pointing out that something had changed. That was my one and only point. Had I realised that you would then decide to change the point so as to avoid admitting that your original assertion was wrong, maybe I would have written all the caveats in the world although I have to admit that I might have struggled to guess how many different ways you could reinterpret the discussion.

          giddiot, nick is trying to explain to you that to claim a change from just one or two weeks is a nonsense, see how many times over the past six years when only one or two boats arrived, was that a change?.NO

          :

        • Nick says:

          No Gids, what you have done is attempt a walk-back, while sticking in a nasty slur about people you know full well are overjoyed when there have been no drownings.

          You need to exorcise the Tim Blair from your head.

        • J Giddeon says:

          “while sticking in a nasty slur about people you know full well are overjoyed when there have been no drownings.”

          So are they in favour of continuing the policies that lead to less drownings or…..

        • Nick says:

          The COALitions policies have lead to fewer drownings? We have a guarantee now that all boats will be intercepted and assessed for safety? Can I have that in writing?

          Is this another of your confident claims based on two weeks data? LOL

        • J Giddeon says:

          Fewer people, fewer boats….fewer drownings.

        • Nick says:

          Again, there have been fewer boats? based on two weeks? and presuming an influence from a ‘policy change’?

          Fewer boats will come in the wet season, so Morrison can claim credit for that. They will need all the ‘pluses’ they can find, what with Expensesgate blowing up in their faces at the mo. Abbott will tender his resignation soon.

        • J Giddeon says:

          “Abbott will tender his resignation soon.”

          Define “soon”. Just so I can put in my calendar to remind you at the appropriate time.

        • Nick says:

          Of course I’m dreaming! A decent person would resign. Abbott is not honorable. He’s too arrogant to resign…but the pressure on this lot of rorters is building , and they find themselves in a position they simply did not expect. They are shitting themselves.

          I wonder if even News Ltd can save them this time?

  7. Rodger the Dodger says:

    “J Giddeon says:
    October 21, 2013 at 3:04 am
    I’ll try to explain the significance of the hiatus to you again, although I know not why since your only response will be a foaming mouthed, expletive filled rant. We can but try.

    The hiatus doesn’t prove nor disprove CAGW or AGW. However its importance lies in the fact that it was not foreseen or forecast.”

    TOTAL BULLSHIT.

    You are totally retarded. I have linked a document from 1979 that mentioned it could occur. This only proves that you have not read any relevant material, but continue with your deluded crusade. But this is expected from totally stupid climate zombies.

    From the Charney report, in 1979.
    “However, we believe it quite possible that the capacity of the intermediate waters of the oceans to absorb heat could delay the estimated warming by several decades’

    Also this is what Storch has said.
    “The main result is that climate models run under realistic scenarios (for the recent past) have some difficulty in simulating the observed trends of the last 15 years, and that are not able to simulate a continuing trend of the observed magnitude for a total of 20 years or more. This main result does not imply that the anthropogenic greenhouse gases have not been the most important cause for the warming observed during the second half of the 20th century. That greenhouse gases have been responsible for, at least, part or even most of the observed warming, is not only based on the results of climate simulations, but can be derived from basic physical principles, and thus it is not really debated.”

    and

    “Our paper does not represent a crises of the understanding of the climate system, but a wake-up call that scenarios have to be prepared better, and that all impact studies should expect that details of future scenarios concerning speed of change and intensity of natural variability may be described quite differently.”

    Stop being a retarded troll, of if that is too much effort for you, just stop posting here. No one is interested in what a dumpy troll has to say.

    ‘foaming mouthed, expletive filled rant’
    Well that’s what trolls deserve. Why is that such a mystery? What is it about the title ‘Watching the Deniers’ that you still can’t comprehend? It has been explained many times but still hasn’t got though. Complete proof that you are retarded. Why are you acting like a turkey and still being a troll. Don’t you know no one ever likes trolls.

    • J Giddeon says:

      Wrong thread Rodge. I understand it must be hard to keep it all straight in your mind when you respond with blind rage.

      Wrong end of the stick as well.

      • Rodger the Dodger says:

        “J Giddeon says:
        October 21, 2013 at 8:10 am
        That’s how to run a boarder policy.”

        Bozo the clown, who can’t spell is giving advice. You are a worthless troll. Primary school must be finished for the day.

        ‘Can you wead me Woger wa Wabbit, for my bedtime wory mummy’
        Yes Gidiot, but only if you promise not to wet the bed tonight.

        Ha, even Gidiot’s mother calls him Gidiot.

  8. john byatt says:

    a denialist on TV in a twist on guns do not kill people said that climate change is not the reason for increased fires it is people with matches

    http://www.convictcreations.com/animals/bushfire.html

    interesting blog

    A second silly myth is that controlled burning is necessary to reduce fuel loads for bushfires. The theory proposes that by burning the bush in a controlled “cold burn”, there wont be as much fuel if the bush is naturally set alight by a lightening strike. Unfortunately, irrespective of whether a barrel of oil is 70% full or 100% full, it is still a fire hazard and the same goes with a eucalypt forest.

    The futility of fuel reduction was seen in the 2009 Victorian firestorm. An estimated 100 lives were lost when the town of Marysville went up in flames. Controlled burns had been used to reduce fuel loads around the town in 81, 82, 85, 87, 99, 04, 05 and 08. These were not effective and the bush around the town merely contributed to the fireball that engulfed it. Even complete eradication of flora does little to stop a fire. In the words of Andrew Cox, head of the National Parks Association of NSW:

    “The bush will carry a fire regardless of what you do beforehand. In extreme conditions, bushfires could rage across treeless paddocks rendered bare by drought and feeding livestock. [Hazard reduction] has a negligible effect on slowing or stopping a fire.”

    • When I was associated with the Australian Alps National Parks through my research, I met a scientist from Tassie at a fire management committee meeting who was researching the physical characteristics of bushfires. His research, soon to be published, found that while fires burn hotter where there is an increased fuel load, they don’t burn and travel any faster, contrary to the unfounded anecdotally based belief that they do.

    • Looks like Tim Blair is one of those idiots who thinks “start” and “exacerbate” are the same thing.

    • zoot says:

      The always pithy Tim Blair …

      Who would have guessed Gids has a lisp.

    • Nick says:

      Ah, Tim Blair….he is very much the 11 year old who starts his own little fires.

    • Rodger the Dodger says:

      Gidiot, what on earth makes you think that anyone here want’s to hear what Bolt’s arse cherry, Tim Blair thinks. Sure, he is just another climate zombie, so we do appreciate your effort’s in trying to make us laugh, but you post the link like it’s a projection of your illicit thoughts. Again, you really know your hogwash. You continue to post links from the Daily Telegraph, IPA goons and Heartland ‘experts’ like we are supposed to take these fools seriously. Yes, we already know that all these climate zombies are all braindead sycophantic loons, so if you are going to post these links, at least have a more entertaining catch phrase ready. At least put the effort into making it mildly entertaining, otherwise we will throw our rotten fruit and shoes at you.

  9. Rachel says:

    I woke up this morning to four emails from two members of my family who do not accept that climate change is happening and that humans are to blame. They were angry that the current crop of bush fires wreaking havoc on NSW are being blamed on climate change and also that the SMH has announced it will no longer accept letters to the editor that are factually incorrect. Somehow these things are all my fault.

    It seems reasonable to me that given the predictions of hotter and dryer weather for Australia with climate change, we will likely see more bush fires as a result.

    I think also that the shrillness of these contrarian voices is a sign that people are taking less notice of them.

    • john byatt says:

      i cop it from one of the family also, he even stated ” CO2 is heavier than air, how does it get up there.

      the Fire/ climate change link is being discussed now on abc 24

      the denier and a risk management expert,

      fact RFS are already preparing for these increase in extreme events

      yes in october this is an extreme event

  10. billybob says:

    a bit preempted by the above post but the text was already prepared:

    I note that as NSW approaches catastrophe the right wingers are going “It’s coz the Greens won’t allow controlled burning”.

    Disregarding the fact that the Greens have approximately zero influence over fuel management practices this still makes no sense, why would a conservationist object to an integral part of the ecosystem?

    When we were in Kakadu last year we were told that they aim to burn 80% of it each year. This place is managed to an incredible level of conservation values.

    In fact has anyone ever heard of anyone objecting to controlled burning?

    First result on googling “controlled burning greens” was a NSW Greens weppage on bushfire policy, which states that they support controlled burning.

    Having spoken to fellow CFA members who have worked for the DSE on controlled burning I learn that the DSE is hampered in attempting to do enough burning by two things, one of which is lack of budget.

    The other difficulty they have is that they must burn in an extremely conservative manner due to the shitstorm they cop if a burn gets away. The shitstorm can be expected to emanate from upstanding, Nationals voting, farmers; not filthy pinko Greens.

    It’s funny how outright lies from the right gain traction so easily!

    • Nick says:

      The News Ltd suckholes of this world have a contempt for reality, they have a hit job to do on society’s brains and social conscience.

      Most fires start outside the national estate from escaped burn-offs, carelessness and arson. The 2009 RC into the Victorian disaster noted that fires starting from electricity infrastructure averaged over 200 per year, for example.

    • john byatt says:

      Channel seven today show this morning

      even Kochie gets it ” there is no denying climate change any more”

      ” they cannot back burn everywhere it is a huge job”

    • J Giddeon says:

      So inadequate hazard reduction, not AGW. Glad we got there.

      To reinforce:

      Last night on the ABC (so it must be right):
      “DAVID PACKHAM, BUSHFIRE MANAGEMENT RESEARCHER: These type of fires, very extensive lines of fire for 100 or so kilometres in the Blue Mountains, they turn up about every 10 or 20 years, right back since, ooh, 1912, I think records started.

      TRACY BOWDEN: After studying bushfire management for half a century, David Packham is not convinced about the impact of climate change. He believes the problem is not in the atmosphere, but on the ground and is calling for a much more vigorous approach to fuel reduction.

      DAVID PACKHAM: It has got to be increased about 10 times. If 10 times is a bit too much to swallow, we’ll improve things from about a five times increase to what we’ve got now.”

      He has also said “THE Blue Mountains bushfire crisis was the result of a lack of political leadership over bush management issues, not climate change.”

      “Mark Adams — who gave evidence at the Victorian royal commission — said while it was too early to determine whether inadequate burning-off was responsible for the Blue Mountains emergency, he was “on the record as being an advocate of an increase in burning-off in southern Australia”.”

      • Nick says:

        Mate, you couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time, could you! The issue is actually multi-factorial, but we know that that sort of approach is too rational for News Ltd inspired single-factor absolutists and economic alarmists like you..

        One expert is cautious /not convinced, another says it’s too early to determine whether burn-offs were inadequate…but you’ve reached your conclusion! It’s lack of burn-offs!

        Packham may wish for ten times the haz red area annually…BUT IT”S WHETHER IT IS POSSIBLE TO EVEN ACHIEVE CURRENT AIMS that is highly questionable. Conditions need to be right for safe burns , and right to burn at all! A lot of the area is inaccessable because of terrain, despite fire trails along ridges. Control of burning is challenging.

        The first six months of the year on the Central Tablelands saw 100 to 150% of mean rainfall for that half of the average year: great conditions for vegetation growth when combined with warmer than average temperatures [and CO2 levels 40% higher than for the past few million years]. The previous La Nina influenced years saw good rain as well….but the moister it is , the harder it is to meet haz red targets, while that veg just keeps packing on the pounds.

        Then we get sustained above average warmth, below average humidity, and 30% of typical rainfall, and the area is rapidly primed for an exceptional spring fire season. If it had been controlled-burned [and we're talking about a fire that has consumed 50,000 hectares of canyon country, so it's not likely] six months ago, the regrowth and then leaf fall in the past month would have primed it just as well.

        Please avoid getting all your source material from the media, in particular the information destroyers at News Ltd.

        • john byatt says:

          Giddeon needs psychiatric help, why he only picked out a bit and did not link was obvious

          http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2013/s3873841.htm

          Scientists told 7.30 the science is in, the link between global warming and bushfires has been established and it’s time for action.

        • Nick says:

          Ah, the Gids excised the counterpoint from Andy Pitman…is this constant cherry-picking instinctive? I know they train them to do that at the IPA….

        • J Giddeon says:

          And who were those scientists, JB. Typical of the ABC they had a bunch of activist/scientists and a lone voice of reason.

        • Nick says:

          Gids: ‘activist / scientists’…thanks for the reminder you’re a News Ltd patsy. Your action of decontextualising, and then your latest ignorant rejoinder, is right out of the Bolt / Blair playbook. When the evidence is against you, throw poo.

      • Rodger the Dodger says:

        Typical of an illiterate simpleton troll, who’s single brain cell has trouble holding more than one concept at a time.

        “Is wat wa wecess bell? It’s time for my spewwing wessions.”

        Yes, Gidiot, of you go, come back when you have finished primary school.

  11. john byatt says:

    Chapman

    ““Reducing emissions is not a free lunch, but neither is climate change. Global action can limit climate change risks, Australia needs to do its fair share by limiting emissions to around a quarter of current levels by 2020.”

    “We must also prepare for the climate change that is already on our door steps, instead of walking backwards into this century of climate change pretending nothing has changed.”

    “All relevant state and national agencies now need plans, approval processes and resources in readiness for a world that may see warming by as much as 4 degrees Celsius this century.”

    Since 2007, The Climate Institute has published research on the climate risks of bushfires, the human and economic consequences of them and other climate impacts, and the need for better planning for current and future warming.

    “We can no longer postpone discussion about the real and growing risks as well as the need for a credible plan for how Australia can help work with other countries to limit those risks,” said Connor.

    “In the last few years there has been a string of days of record breaking fire weather danger around Australia and yesterday around Sydney was yet another. Fires are not uncommon at this time but not at this scale.”

  12. J Giddeon says:

    “Royal Commission should examine fuel reduction, says CSIRO bushfire expert

    February 10, 2009
    Article from: Australian Associated Press

    ONE of the nation’s top bushfire experts says the Royal Commission investigating the Victorian blazes needs to examine the declining practice of fuel reduction in heavily forested areas.

    While temperatures rising several degrees might increase the fire danger by one or 2 per cent, doubling the fuel load doubled the threat, the head of CSIRO’s bushfires research unit Phil Cheney said.

    “It’s very difficult to protect a home and life in tall forest,” Mr Cheney said.

    “If fuel reduction was carried out around homes and in adjacent forests there was an excellent chance of people staying and protecting themselves and their homes.”

    Fuel reduction practices had changed dramatically in the past 20 to 30 years, Mr Cheney said.

    “I really think that is what the government has to address in this royal commission.”

    Organisations such as Parks Victoria did not carry out fuel reduction burning on a broad-area scale, he said.

    “Unless it is applied in a mosaic, in a professional and sensible way, then it’s not going to work.”

    http://www.relfe.com/2009/bushfires_australia_victoria_cause_of.html

    see also: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/greens-policies-igniting-flames/story-fni0cwl5-1226742962855

    (Prediction – people will attack Devine as one of the baddies and ignore the quotes from actual experts).

    We’ve always had fires. Much of the native fauna rely on them for propagation and it was part of the indigenous food management system. What’s changed is the regular reduction in fuel load caused by our ‘love’ of the natural.

    Let’s pretend for a moment that these ‘unprecedented’ fires are caused by co2 emissions. How will reducing world emissions by 0.075% pa make the slightest difference?

    • john byatt says:

      more lies from the troll

      Greens
      “While recognising that controlled burning is only one form of bush fire risk reduction, The Greens have not been responsible for restricting its use. We are committed to an effective and scientifically based approach to hazard reduction, which takes into account the needs of both the human and natural environments.

      The location of residential or rural residential development in high bush fire hazard areas increases the level of threat to people and their homes. This is not economically, socially or ecologically sustainable. Development should not be permitted in identified Bushfire Prone Areas, where such development is likely to endanger lives or property or involve substantial protection and suppression costs, including loss of environmental values.

      “How will reducing world emissions by 0.075% pa make the slightest difference?”

      you selfish dimwit, you want every other country to reduce their emissions while we maintain one of the highest per capita rates on the planet

      you are part of the reason that we are having this extreme weather which increases the risk of devestating fires, not the greens,

      most queensland councils are conservatives, and most complaints against hazard reduction come from residents who are prone to problems from smoke inhalation
      coordinating days when the conditions are right and smoke will blow away from residential areas is not some simple solution

      you trolls need an enemy to blame for the devastation brought on by yourselves.
      alone

      • J Giddeon says:

        “more lies from the troll”

        Well since I was merely quoting others, and primarily experts, I’m wondering how I lied. Still, I guess its hard to be logical while in full rant mode.

        “The Greens have not been responsible for restricting its [hazard reduction} use.”

        Well must be true….the greens wouldn’t lie would they?

        “you want every other country to reduce their emissions ”

        I know you wouldn’t just make that up so can you remind me where I said that. Oh, and I’m assuming that, by your evasion, you agree that reducing emissions by 0.075% won’t make any difference.

        • Stuart Mathieson says:

          Your not quoting experts. Your quoting the the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Quite a different thing.

        • J Giddeon says:

          “Your quoting the the Daily Telegraph”

          Who were quoting experts. Try to get past the messenger and read the message. The world will then start to make sense.

        • Stuart Mathieson says:

          Depends which “experts” they quote. They used to claim they were quoting the UK Met office. They weren’t. They were misquoting the UK Met office.
          They were exploiting confirmation bias. The tendency of some people to have entrenched views and use selective reporting and misreporting to support those views. This phenomenon is cynically exploited by unscrupulous people including unscrupulous journalists.

        • and lapped up by the scruple-free.

        • john byatt says:

          The Australian quotes experts as well, and this is the troll who whines about being misquoted

    • “We’ve always had fires. Much of the native fauna rely on them for propagation”

      Many species of ants actively bury Acacia seeds. Many birds and some mammals inadvertantly disperse seeds in their faeces but I wasn’t aware our native animals actively use fire to propagate. Thanks for this insightful piece of ecological information. As an ecologist myself I am always open to new insights into the activities of our native fauna.

    • “Greens Policies Igniting Flames”

      It’s truly remarkable how a political group, which conservatives deride as merely a “vocal minority group that nobody takes seriously”, apparently have some sort of exclusive veto power over controlled burning. When asked how a handful of Green parliamentarians, at state and federal level, somehow overrule the “common sense” approach of controlled burns, it is insinuated that “green activists” have “infiltrated” key agencies and are secretly implementing their “green agenda”.

    • Stuart Mathieson says:

      Quoting the Daily Telegraph (or The Daily Mail) says it all Gid!

    • Nick says:

      Trolling Gids:

      You might not know that Victoria had an extensive burn-off program before 2009…but conditions were often unsuitable, as in dangerous or damp, to fully execute it.

      “Let’s pretend for a moment that these ‘unprecedented’ fires are caused by co2 emissions.”

      What? Why ‘pretend’ that? The fires are not ’caused by CO2 emissions’! Who has said they were? That was a trollish sentence from you there.

      “How will reducing world emissions by 0.075% make the slightest difference?”

      Boy, you love to repeat dumb rhetorical questions, don’t you! Just like Andrew Bolt. Another troll question, from the highest paid public troll in Melbourne.

      “We’ve always had fires” Not very often in the Blue Mountains in spring, and not as severe as these fires, the worst since 1968 according to the experts. ’68 and ’77 were summer fires.

      Warmest 12 month period in the records, Gids. Warmest decade in our records. Average max temperatures across the mountains 2-4C above normal. Lithgow has had 30% of its average rainfall since start July, combined with above average temperatures, low humidity…. and the ACO2 in the background enhancing plant growth over the La Nina period where it was often too wet to carry out the burn-off program.

      What was that about no connection between human industrial GHG waste and the potentiation of dangerous fires?

      • J Giddeon says:

        ““How will reducing world emissions by 0.075% make the slightest difference?”

        Boy, you love to repeat dumb rhetorical questions, don’t you!”

        I repeat it because its central to the issue AND no one has even attempted to either answer it or advise why it isn’t central.

        But I do understand why you’d prefer it wasn’t mentioned.

        • Nick says:

          I don’t care how often you mention it: it’s your choice to look daft.

          I notice how you’ve gone back to your rhetorical question and avoided challenging anything else I’ve written.

          it’s rhetoric, a red herring, because nobody claimed that doing that would be useful… show me the global campaign to reduce only naughty Australia’s contribution, and no other nations!

          Because of the G in AGW: because the effort to reduce CO2 discharge is global and is aimed at changing the generation mix globally. Facetious ‘focus’ on individual national contributions is deliberate diversion, practiced by economic alarmists everywhere. The figure itself is also daft because it ignores the massive contribution that Australian coal makes burnt in generators around the world.

          We can actually dramatically reduce our per capita CO2 output with a combination of measures which you are no doubt pretending to be unaware of. In fact it’s already happening, though Abbott’s coal captives will retard progress with their ‘bullshit’ plan, as Malcolm Turnbull put it in 2009.

          Business was quite relaxed about a carbon price, until the coal boys saw their opportunity to run our policy through their puppets in politics and the media.

        • J Giddeon says:

          “it’s rhetoric, a red herring, because nobody claimed that doing that would be useful…”

          So I guess you missed the discussion where members here were opining that insurance premiums would rise due to a lack of CO2 tax and/or that paying the tax would be cheaper than the increased insurance costs. Funny , I thought you were part of that discussion…it must have been that other less rational Nick.

          ““We’ve always had fires” Not very often in the Blue Mountains in spring, ”

          A little while back you were telling me it was utterly ridiculous to use Malta as an example of recent record cold events because it was too small. I seem to think Malta is approx the same size as the Blue Mountains region but now something rare-ish in that small area is profoundly important. Understood.

        • Rodger the Dodger says:

          You know, no one is even bothering to read your comments now. I just skip over them. Who cares what a retarded troll who can’t even spell says. I certainly don’t care. No one here does. Everytime you post here you only reinforce what a joke you are. You have been told to piss off many, many times, yet you still persist? Do you have a brain injury?

          Eww, now you are just dribbling on your keyboard.

          Nurse, time to clean Gidiot’s keyboard again. While you are at it, check to see if Gidiot has soiled his nappy. It’s getting pretty stinky again.

        • john byatt says:

          what an uncaring prick you are, thousands of people suffering and you dismiss it as too small an area to be of any concern its is a bloody extreme fire after the hottest twelve months on record, what was flaming malta’s record you zombie ? ,

        • Nick says:

          Cut rate word parser, Gids. No one argues that cutting emissions by 0.075% will make any useful difference to GAT…you can pretend I wasn’t clear enough. I’ve made the argument before that it has value as a political symbol, a signal of political will. And that is how nations forge co-operation, by making offers and concessions. We can afford it, though the FF guys have you shitting yourself.

          Your Malta temperature/ local bushfire analogy doesn’t fly. Wrong indicator. A single recording point won’t tell you much about climate change, thus I pointed to a continent sized area as a better indicator: an argument for scale helping determine significance.

          I’m not relying on the October Blue Mountains fires as a sole indicator of a climate change ‘value’. It is the partial consequence of background change. The rareness [in terms of severity] of the event in that limited area has a lot to do with the enormous extent and duration of temperature anomalies in which it lies. I’ve already explained the combination of other factors. Somehow, the second coolest July [according to meteomalta.com] on record in an area of a few hundred km2 [or realistically,given the properties of air, thousands of km2] doesn’t seem to stack up against the warmest 12 month period Australia wide: match the period and the area and you might begin to understand…but you are determined to be contrary no matter how dopey you look! We have had an exceptionally warm winter and spring over a very large area.

          The second coolest July in Malta brought the mean temperature down to 30.2C, so good luck to ‘em. Mean temperature has risen there over the century.

        • J Giddeon says:

          “you dismiss it as too small an area to be of any concern ”

          Comprehension fail!

          And according to your deranged friend your not s’posed to be reading my posts.

        • john byatt says:

          you are a whacko

          but now something rare-ish in that small area is profoundly important.”

          so you are claiming that it is too small

        • Nick says:

          Come on Gids, when you’re in a hole ,stop digging. You should know by now we understand what you say, even if you don’t.

          It’s been a very very warm continent for a significant period. Top that off with 30% of the typical rainfall expected over the Central tablelands, which has a lot to do with the prevailing wind directions that supply and reinforce the warmth, and the fact that cold fronts while strong enough south of Canberra, have not penetrated very far north much this winter,and there has not been much moisture for them to interact with on the central western slopes and north. Passing southern fronts have generated strong pre-frontal NW winds when interacting with the central Australian dry air heat engine.

          Those are large scale factors, bigger than 10000 Maltas: wide in extent, and long in dessicating duration. The climate regime imposed over the Central Tablelands has been more like the one that operates over the Northern Rivers and Tablelands, where late winter to mid spring is the dry season. Normally at Sydney’s latitude, springs are not so dry. This is dryness is not unprecedented in itself, but the scale and extremes of warmth are. Not a good combo.

        • john byatt says:

          using catastrophe in mike’s search box we have had seven posts just this year on the changing climate.

          are we there yet? NO

        • J Giddeon says:

          ““We’ve always had fires” Not very often in the Blue Mountains in spring, and not as severe as these fires, the worst since 1968 according to the experts. ’68 and ’77 were summer fires.”

          From what I’ve seen that is technically correct. But what is left unsaid is that we have quite often had disastrous spring bushfires in NSW in areas other than the Blue Mountains. Your assertions of a unique and/or anomalous situation are based on restricting the comparisons to a small area. Hence my raising the Malta discussion.

          If we have had similar situations in the past then the idea that this is just part of the natural cycle in Oz is enhanced. The only way to say that we haven’t had similar situations in the past is to closely restrict the comparison parameters.

        • Nick says:

          Spring fires are not unknown in the Blue Mountains, given that it’s a transitional season. Once storminess increases later in the season, natural ignition opportunities rise. And a late November fire can have a very summer-like quality. But the earlier you go in spring the more winter-like, and most wind intensity is from the SW cool changes, which while often dry, are ten degrees cooler and more than what we are seeing. We have had some of those cool SW interludes, but we are getting more dry warm to hot northern NSW set up.

          The other thing about climate normal winters and early springs in the Central tablelands is that the SW changes usually bring some rain [sleet or snow high up] falling on the western side and creeping over the divide. Haven’t seen so much this year. It’s been way drier than average for over three months.

          Really, this is very aberrant. The enduring well above average temperatures are actually unprecedented and they prime the environment as only heat and heat dessication can.

          You’ve heard of the shifting of climatic zones? Well, the central tablelands are getting typical northern tablelands weather: as you go north, springs get drier [further away from southern cool season moisture, and before monsoonal influence arrives for summer] In average years, Spring in the Northern Rivers,while cooler than summer, is actually the time of highest fire risk. Fortunately, it’s usually a pretty short stretch, though not this year.

          So as you travel south from Queensland ,you travel from a zone of winter/spring max risk to one of summer max risk in a normal climate. So in the north a ‘disastrous spring bushfire’ is on the cards. Not so much in the middle. In fact the local firies are calling this the worst for spring,and one of the worst of their times.

          And again, mean temperature is anomalously high. Has been all year. I’m quite confident that we are seeing a climate change component [drying of spring, higher mean temps, more dessication] interacting with natural variability [variation around the mean].

  13. john byatt says:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-21/jotzo-fires-and-climate-change/5035058

    While the government is preparing to repeal the carbon price, the fires in New South Wales remind us that it is in Australia’s interest for the world to act on climate change – and that starts with a credible effort at home, writes Frank Jotzo.

    No specific incident like the NSW fires can be unequivocally attributed to climate change. But extreme weather – droughts, heatwaves, fires, floods – is exactly what we would expect to see much more of as a result of climate change. Cutting emissions is elementary risk management for a nation that is more vulnerable to climate change than most others.

    more

  14. john byatt says:

    Extreme bushfire weather has increased over the last 30 years in SE Australia

    As the length of the season increases there is less opportunity for hazard reduction

    SE Australia is very likely to experience an increase in number of days of extreme bush fire weather over coming decades

    the climate council

  15. Nick says:

    If anyone cares to look at the data, they will find that September and October are running at around three degrees and more above average over the Central Tablelands [and much of the state] So far October in the Blue Mountains is averaging like November: by the end of the month it may exceed the November average.

    And the national picture for September is this

  16. Blair Donaldson says:

    It does make you wonder how many more of these types of out of season five events have to occur before even the dullest get it?

    For the time being we just have to hope there is no further loss of life although I suspect a huge number of animals and birds have already succumbed.

    • Michael Marriott says:

      Blair, I equally share your concern – it is often forgotten the devestating impact on local wildlife such extreme fires can have.

      But you ask a good question: what will it take for even the most sceptical politicians to accept the reality?

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