Australia’s ‘climate’ fires are fast becoming the biggest fake news scare story of 2020. All the world’s stupidest, most annoying, hand-wringing, virtue-signalling leftists, luvvies, eco-loons, shyster politicians, second-rate activist scientists and other bottom feeders are jumping on the bandwagon.
The fires themselves are all too real: no one is disputing that – or the damage they have done. At least 27 people have been killed – including four firemen; an estimated 15.6 million acres have been burned; hundreds of properties have been destroyed; hundreds of thousands of animals, both livestock and wildlife, have been incinerated.
But the narrative that this has anything to do with ‘climate change’ is the purest eco-propaganda fiction. Here is the truth about Australia’s bush fires.
This is about politics, not climate
Australia’s leftists have never forgiven Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party (ie Australia’s conservatives) for winning the general election in May 2019. That’s because it was billed as the ‘climate election’, which the left was supposed to win.
As I wrote at the time, in Australia – as in the U.S. and the UK – the left thinks global warming is an election-winning issue. But the voters just aren’t interested.
Everyone — encouraged by Australia’s left-leaning print media and rabidly left-wing state broadcaster ABC — was convinced that this was the election that was going to be won on climate change. Greenpeace actually billed it as a “climate election”. Australia’s Labor party, campaigning on a strongly anti-climate change agenda, was going to oust the incumbent Liberal (i.e. conservative) government because public concern about the environment was so overwhelmingly strong.
Didn’t happen though, did it? Instead, the Liberals won.
Now all the losing losers who lost in Australia are taking their revenge by demanding the resignation of Scott Morrison (aka ScoMo), supposedly because of his mishandling of the fires. They couldn’t beat him by fair means so now they’re trying to do it by foul means.
#SackScoMo. Excuse me? Sack the PM? For what exactly? This is so pathetic, ridiculous and childish. The PM does not deserve to be sacked at all. If anything, this is just another virtue signalling useless & brainless protest. #auspol.
— Marcus Foo (@AStrongerOZ) January 10, 2020
Nothing to do with climate change
The dry, hot conditions which have exacerbated these fires are weather, not climate. Australia, a hot, dry country, has been here many, many times before.
As Paul Homewood pointed out last month, there has been no significant long-term decrease in rainfall or increase in temperatures in the affected regions.
Yes, it has been dry in New South Wales (where most of the worst fires are), but there have been several years, especially pre-1960, when it was drier:
First, let’s look at rainfall. All the data and graphs that follows are from the Australian BOM:
As we can see, rainfall in NSW over the last three months is well below average, but no worse than several previous years on record.
The same applies to temperature. Yes, this has been a hot spring in New South Wales. But there have been times when it has been much hotter — making a nonsense of all stories in the Australian media about temperatures being the hottest evah:
Neither is the monthly average of 38.0C a record high. The three years from 1899 to 1901 all saw average December mean maximum temperatures well above 38.0C.
Since the station moved to the airport in 1993, 38C has only been exceeded once until this year, that was in 2005, when it averaged 38.5C, still well below the December 1899 when the mean was 39.9C.
Furthermore, Australia’s longer-term climate record shows that drought periods are natural and cyclical, suggesting there is no reason to believe that they are anthropogenic in origin. Eastern Australia has experienced eight megadroughts – all of which predate the invention of aircraft, SUVs etc.
Eight megadroughts are identified in eastern Australia including one 39 year drought (A.D. 1174–1212), which occurred during an unprecedented century of aridity (A.D. 1102–1212). https://t.co/X9S2Pw7Po2 pic.twitter.com/RkpvvboKxU
— Judith Curry (@curryja) January 10, 2020
How many roos, koalas and goannas were killed off during the fires of the great 39 year drought of AD 1174 to 1212? A lot more – you can safely bet – than have been killed in 2019/2020. But back in the 12th and 13th century, Australia was blessed with having not a single left-wing academic or greenie blogger to tweet heartrending pictures of burned wildlife. What a civilised place it must have been: brown snakes, taipans, funnel web spiders, scorpions, saltwater crocodile, sharks – but not a single whining ‘progressive’ to lower the tone.
Even if Australia cancelled its economy tomorrow, there’d still be bush fires till the end of time
Australia’s CO2 emissions – as of 2018 – were 1.18 per cent of the global total. Suppose ScoMo were willing or able to put a stop to Australia’s industrial output, the resultant drop in anthropogenic CO2 would be offset in a matter of weeks by the growth in India’s and China’s.
Why should Australia’s economy – and the people who depend on its prosperity – be made to suffer on the basis of a lie promulgated by a handful of activists and propagandists and amplified by a bunch of useful idiots?
What’s really causing the fires. 1. Arsonists
Since the start of the bush fire season last November, Australian police have arrested nearly 200 alleged arsonists. Whether it’s ‘arson jihad’ (as recommended by ISIS) or deranged greenies trying to draw attention to the ‘climate emergency’ or bored kids or even perfectly innocent people who were just trying to light a barbie in the bush doesn’t much matter: the point is that a lot of these fires were indeed man-made.
Just not man-made in quite the green propagandists’ understanding of the phrase.
What’s really causing the fires. 2. Fuel Load
There’s too much combustible material in the Australian bush. Back in the day, the Aborigines burned it off; so, following their example, did the early settlers; so, until quite recently did most rural Australians. But then the environmentalists stuck their oar in with their fashionable notions – borrowed from Rousseau via the German ecologists and the Nazis – that nature should be left in a wild and pristine state, unsullied by man. So these idiot ‘uni’ graduates with their soft science degrees infiltrated the news media and the universities and local government – and made it harder and harder for landowners to clear the undergrowth and excess trees round their property, even if it was for potentially life-saving purposes like creating fire breaks.
Amazingly, the greenies are denying that this is the main cause of the fires – an extraordinarily outrageous and brazen lie which I shall deal with in a separate piece.
But there’s far too much evidence for it to be denied. Here is an excellent piece on the subject in the Spectator by Tim Blair.
As those fires roared through Australia’s eastern coast, killing residents and volunteer firefighters and destroying hundreds of houses, a not-unrelated court report appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald. It told the story of 71-year-old John David Chia, who in 2014 paid contractors to cut down and remove 74 trees on and around his property.
The judge in this case noted that Chia’s primary motivation for the tree removal was ‘his concern about the risk of fire at his property’, but found also the Sydney pensioner’s actions had caused ‘substantial harm’ to the environment. Chia ended up copping a $40,000 fine — more than $500 for each tree.
Australia – contrary to its Crocodile Dundee image – has some of the whiniest, most self-righteous and interfering lefties in the world.
Here – courtesy of Blair’s piece again – is another example of them in action:
Even minor attempts to reduce that fuel load are punished. Let’s suppose, for example, you have a wood fireplace at your rural house. Doing the right thing by the law and the environment, you do not cut down any trees to use as firewood. Instead, you simply collect dead branches and fallen trees lying around in the bushland dirt. This also reduces the amount of fuel available for potential bushfires, so you’re on the side of the angels.
But wait! Heed the warning from NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Central West area manager Fiona Buchanan, in April last year: ‘We are getting the message out there that removing firewood, including deadwood and fallen trees, is not permitted in national parks. We want people to know the rules around firewood collection… It’s important people are aware that on-the-spot , fines apply but also very large fines can be handed out by the courts.’
She wasn’t bluffing. A man had earlier been fined $30,000 for illegally collecting firewood in the Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Why? Because, as Buchanan explained: ‘Many ground-dwelling animals and threatened species use tree hollows for nesting, so when fallen trees and deadwood is taken illegally, it destroys their habitat. This fallen timber is part of these animals’ natural ecosystem.’
Australia has seen worse bush fires than these….
As Jo Nova notes, we have just passed the 80th anniversary of Black Friday, 1939:
On Black Friday 1939, on a day of high wind and savage 45 degree heat (110 Fahrenheit) many separate fires joined forces in Victoria to make mass conflagrations, one of which burned most of the western flanks of the Snowy Mountains all the way to New South Wales. In the end the conflagration burned through two million hectares, 3,700 buildings, 69 mills and killed 71 people. Five towns were completely destroyed – never to be rebuilt. At the time, the atmospheric content of carbon dioxide was 310ppm and 90% of all human emissions were yet to be made. Climate Change has nothing to do with it.
In the end, they were horribly unprepared, the forests were horribly overgrown and the weather was horribly extreme.
Men who had lived their lives in the bush went their ways in the shadow of dread expectancy. But though they felt the imminence of danger they could not tell that it was to be far greater than they could imagine. They had not lived long enough.
Australians have long known what really causes bush fires…
Few sensible Australians believe the nonsense that climate change is responsible for these fires. The ones that do believe it are the kind of people who, in the U.S., would have voted Hillary and who in the UK would have been Remoaners in the Brexit debate, for there is a strong correlation between globalism and a love of big government and total gullibility when it comes to anything that has to do with climate change.
But there has been plenty of evidence out there for anyone prepared to do some basic due diligence as to what really caused these bush fires.
Tony Heller has produced a must-read round up of some relevant archive material, including reports on the Royal Commission into the 1939 Bush Fires.
Among the findings:
The fires were man made.
There was a long drought followed by extreme heat.
The amount of controlled burning was described by the Report as ‘ridiculously inadequate’.
Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.
And where this Australian bush fire tragedy is concerned, no one deserves more opprobrium than the greens whose poisonous, anti-human, anti-science, anti-history ideology has turned what could have been a minor inconvenience into a full-on disaster.