Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Australian Bushfires due to AGW - not

In an article from the Peninsula on line dated 10/2/09 By Peter Smith in Sydney, that starts:

"Australia is a land of droughts, tropical floods and raging bushfires. But the scale of the fires that devastated rural communities in the state of Victoria at the weekend was on a scale never seen before."

Well, not quite never Pete. He later says:

"The bushfires have triggered a debate over the effects of global warning on the planet’s driest continent. Scientists say Australia, with its harsh environment, is set to be one of the nations most affected by climate change. "

He then gives a quote from that Wacko, Senator Bob Brown:

"“Global warming is predicted to make this sort of event happen 25 percent, 50 percent more,”

25 percent, 50 percent - Bob. Well that gives you , on your reckoning 100% margin of error!

Meanwhile, in the same day's "The Australian" the following quotes..

Geoffrey Blainey, in Melbourne's Herald Sun yesterday, on bushfires that occurred long before global warming:

"IN our recorded history, there has been no bushfire as spectacular as February 1851, on the very eve of the first gold rushes. They called it Black Thursday. Half of Victoria seemed to be on fire. A wild northerly was blowing, and it drove such a column of black smoke right across Bass Strait that one town near Devonport was so darkened in mid-afternoon that people actually thought the end of the world had come.

The period after World War I was especially dry in Victoria. Five devastating years for bushfires were 1919, 1926, 1932, 1939 and 1944. Those of 1926 have been largely forgotten, but in the town of Gilderoy only two of 14 forest workers survived. More than 50 Victorians were killed in bushfires during that February. I remember Black Friday: January 13, 1939. The two million hectares burned probably exceeded the extent of bush and forest destroyed this weekend. Some 1300 homes were lost, and 69 sawmills. More than 70 Victorians died that day."

Germaine Greer, in The Times of London, sets the record straight on the role of global warming in bushfires:

"FIRE is an essential element in the life cycle of Australian forests. Season by season sclerophyll or hard-leaved woodlands build up huge amounts of detritus, which must burn if there is to be new growth.

For 40 or maybe 60 millennia, Aboriginal peoples managed fire proactively, setting alight woodland, scrubland and grassland, so that they could pass freely, so that game was driven towards them, so that fresh green herbage was available. Aboriginal languages have dozens of words for fire. As the Endeavour sailed up the eastern coast, Captain Cook noted that the skies were darkened with smoke by day and lit up by fire at night.

Bushland that is not burned regularly turns into a powder keg, as the fuel load inexorably increases. The cause of these disasters is not global warming; still less is it arson. It is the failure to recognise that fire is an intrinsic feature of eucalypt bushland. It cannot be prevented but it can and should be managed. Unless there is a fundamental change of policy across all levels of government in Australia, there will be more and worse fires and more deaths."

So, fires of this intensity have occured regularly over history.
As GG points out, our eucalypts discard dead branches and woody weeds grow under the trees. The Australian Aborigines regularly did control burns which reduced bush fire fuel and generated new growth. Rural fires Services did the same until Labor governments started to pander to the Greens (watermelons actually, green on the outside and pink on the inside!)
The funny thing is, you never see Bob Brown or any other Greens around disasters like this, trying to help preserve native forests and native wildlife.

Apologise, Bob and stop using this terrible event as a time to spread your evil propaganda.

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