[Previous page File 21 for dates to 2020 ] [You are now on a chronology page for 2020 filed as (http://www.danbyrnes.com.au/merchants/merchants22.htm] File 22 - On climate change issues , the foreseeable future, and on world politics!]
This webpage updated 11 March, 2020 - (This is the last page of this series)
Do you believe climate change is actually a threat to humanity? The celebrated US economist Paul Krugman does. He views climate change as an existential threat. The US army views it as a security threat. But the world's top-line climate change sceptics snooze on; and unfortunately they tend to run our nation-states. So on goes the argument ...
Picture at right: Firefighters struggle against a strong wind in an effort to secure houses from bushfires near the town of Nowra, New South Wales, Australia. Photograph about New Year, 2019 by Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images.
For the other side of the coin, for a list of groups which according to Conservative Propaganda are hoaxers, mere recipients of grants made available by unthinking government in Australia, see: https://www.aegn.org.au/grantmakers/engos/
On Science: "Science "is all about evidence and fair, transparent, replicable processes" ... "is not always right" ...but it grows and changes ... "Science is fundamentally unsound. This appears to be the message that our political leaders wish to convey, when science conveys inconvenient truths ... The scientific consensus is overwhelming that climate change is not only happening, but the human species is playing a key role in the process ... " "Evidence changes as it is accumulated. But the alternative to evidence-based decisions rapidly descends to superstitious beliefs and pandering to stake holders. Such behaviour corrupts us all and threatens to bankrupt the planet," (Or worse, this webpage feels, it can lead to Trumpism.) Doling out Australia Day awards to scientists is no consolation for allowing the denigration, the deliberate misinterpretation and naysaying about science and scientists when it suits a political purpose ... (From Prof Jim Bright, Prof, of Career, Education and development at Australian Catholic University in My Career, 1-2 Feb., 202, part of SMH.) BTW, is there any such thing as "political science" or is this term just another, non-amusing oxymoron!
The USA has its Ground Zero. Australia now has its "fireground". "Dig, baby, dig coal" as ScoMo from Marketing might say. Go figure.
What would One-Nation-lookalike Barnaby Joyce actually know? He used to be an accountant and he is no brighter than any other graduate from UNE at Armidale NSW!
These are names drawn from a failed elite. When have any of these names ever studied Climatology? Why then does the media in Australia keep reporting their ignorant opinions? Why don't they consult the meteorologists employed by "the media"? (How many universities does Australia currently have? 43. Do these recently-trained meteorologists merely re-spruik what their university teachers told them or are they better thinkers than this? Oh dear, and time gets away doesn't it, there's probably a new crop of meteorologists being trained just as we speak here?!)
Are our media managers unabashed idiots, wasting what they pay their meteorologists by not listening to them?
What sort of expert knowledge then gets about in Australian Federal politics that we do not otherwise know about is being kept from us - the mere voters? What are these names trying to keep from us that we don't or can't or shouldn't know about? Do they really think that all this is a gigantic (and successful) hoax or are they merely self-deluded? Or is it that they simply do not know either? We could perhaps add Ian Plimer (geologist), Maurice Newman (noted climate sceptic and adviser to one-time PM Tony Abbott), alleged journalist Andrew Bolt and finance journalist Terence McCrann. What do any of them know about Climatology? Really?
BTW, journalists in Australia are such slow learners that they still use outmoded terms such as "tidal wave" when they actually mean tsunamis - which is very annoying and you can hear them do this anytime there IS a tsunami - Ed.
Rest assured, that worldwide, Climate Change Denialists are for the most part well-funded ... after all they imagine they are helping to protect the world's wealth and where we imagine that a vast amount of human activity - and a good deal of "Economics", not to speak of "Political Economy" - has got us so far. None of which will be worth a hill of beans, however, if climate change is happening for the reasons that this webpage thinks it is happening ... but lest we digress, follows a list of Climate Denialist organisations working in Australia. The Institute for Public Affairs. The Bushfire Front. The Green Shirts Movement. The Saltbush Club - and its targets. Internationally, we are told, we have The DeSmog Blog, which is devoted to exposing what it calls, global warming misinformation campaigns. And well, as Mr. McCormack, head of the National Party in Australia feels, we are, like the CEO of BHP Billiton, entitled to our opinion - and so is Mr. McCormack.
We apologise profusely to the artist who produced the "incompetent basterds" graphic displayed here. Their identity remains unknown to us; and the work came to us quite circuitously, nay, secretly. We'd be very pleased to hear from the said artist and would be very glad to credit him or her - Ed.
Give cash now. Donations other than cash (eg, toys, food) are distracting already-stretched staff from other, more important tasks.
Yes, there is a lot to think about. Australia is in for a huge rethink! Are our politicians doing what they are paid for and are supposed to - represent their constituencies? Economics, for example, since about 1600 or so, the advent years for European East India companies, has assumed the clean air, water, timber, land, are free goods. They are no longer free, they now cost, but Economics has not matured with world population growth. (In Australia, for example, no one seems even to know reliably what the unemployment rate actually is or should be!) So part of our rethink is a rethink of Economics, how good is it? What is it for?
Ask your climate-change-denying friends, can they actually read The Science? Are they actually competent to comment or are they just blathering, confabulating, just reacting to what is in the media (which is confused because the politicians and their constituencies and maybe the journalists too are ignorant and confused?). Are the climate-deniers actually worth listening to? This website says they are not worth listening to. It is time to rethink whom to listen to!
The editor recommends - that all readers here ask their climate-change-denying friends in Australia how it feels now that it seems that half of Australia is aflame ... what really is going on? Because if Australia is warming, this is global, other continents will be warming as well. Ask your politicians now, do they know what is really going on? And if not, why not? Are the glaciers melting? Is bio-diversity changing or reducing? What is the upper healthy limit in ppm terms for levels of CO2 in the atmosphere? If you don't know what it is - and this website admits it doesn't know it - you are possibly merely a nonce engaging in pretence. (Second trick question: what is the normal ocean level since the last Ice Age, say 12,000 years ago? And there is no normal, or if there is, we don't know what it is. But ocean levels have risen/fallen about 120 metres. Go figure.)
International weather: Do you think world weather events are getting more violent/extreme, or not? This webpage thinks weather around the world is getting more extreme, and has done for years.
18-1-2020: In California, USA, scientists worry re climate change and links between insects, drought, fire damage and giant sequoia trees.
20-1-2020: International climate change watch: Canadian army is called out to help Canada cope with snow falls.
A US Earth Talk website, 2009, answers the question, "Don't all these huge snow and ice storms across the country mean that the globe isn't really warming? I never seen such a winter." [As US President Donald Trump still seems to believe if his late-2019 remarks are a useful guide ...]
Climate pundits agree that climate or changes to it cannot be ascertained reliably by inspecting a day, week, season or even a year. Climate is often defined as weather-averaged-across-30-years. So weather anomalies such as recent cold snaps need not disturb a theory, say, of Anthropogenic Global Warming. In 2006, a warmer Lake Erie refused to freeze over for the first time in its white-man measured-history, but this paradoxically led to greater snowfalls due to water evaporated from the lake. Climate pundits also agree that a specific freak storm or cold snap proves nothing much. It is the 30-year averaging which matters.
Here comes the rub. Climate change may be natural, or it may not. Climate change is thus not the same thing as Anthropogenic Global Warming (man-made global warming.) It boils down in insurance terms to an Act of God or an Act of Man, which will be differently observed. But is this enough to modify view on the participations of The Deity. (Such that a Catholic Archbishop in Poland objects?) (And what is the interpretation arrived at in Islamic countries, in Buddhist countries?) If climate problems are not man-made, they can be attributed to things natural, things brought on by The Deity, but this is not the case if we suffer from Anthropogenic Global Warming.
Now, socialist writers fantasise that "this" (Anthropogenic Global Warming) "changes everything", (leads to the demise of capitalism, which however fantastic is the great desideratum of Socialism) that business will not be as usual, that existing legislation about the situation of indigenous people will be some sort of saviour. (This is the general drift of Naomi Klein's book, This Changes Everything, a book with which this website disagrees largely because ALL countries will be affected, not just those countries that Klein condescends to mention.)
This is why climate-change-deniers like the ex-Australian PM, Tony Abbott, might say that the debate takes on religious overtones; he, being a devout right-wing Catholic from Sydney, refuses to believe, as this webpage believes, that man now has the power to disgorge greenhouse gases such that Anthropogenic Gloabal Warming ensues - and the world warms within a narrow range - from 0-6 degrees Centigrade - that many feel is so small as to be overlookable.
And it does seem as if Australia, being as bush-fire prone as it is, will remain as an interesting, world-wide, test-case for such propositions. But it should be understood that in Australia, and despite its dramatic scenarios re bushfires, the argument is still about Climate Change, it is not yet about Anthropogenic Global Warming ... Which has the power to warm the planet, so far, by about 1.5 or 1.6 degrees Centigrade (the average global temperature has risen by 0.6 or 0.9 degrees Centigrade to its present level of about 1.6 degrees while the rate of temperature increase has reached nearly doubled)... producing results which already (by 2020) are ahead of predictions; global warming could go to 2-6 degrees Centigrade.
|Climate and the 30-year-averaging ... From 2020, thirty years only takes us to 1990.|
"The science is in", admits the Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg, as Eastern Australian burns. But weather is not climate. As one UK Climatologist sensibly says, "Weather is what we get, climate is what we expect." (So do we expect more fires this summer. or not?)
Weather is what happens around us yesterday, today or tomorrow. It only needs a one centigrade degree upward rise in world global average temperature to disrupt international-global weather system(s) beyond human bearability; we are currently running with an increase of 1.6 to 2 degrees, and climate is changing globably, which is being denied by our climate-change deniers but asserted by our scientists. In 1760 there were 280 ppm of C02 in our atmosphere, today we have 409 ppm, which is a level not seen on Earth for four million years, long before the rise of our own species, homo sapiens. This only refers to carbon dioxide; it does not measure our atmospheric levels of other heat-trapping gases.
Climate is about the past 30 years or so, involves averagings (which is evidently, by itself, a political minefield) and involves oceanic temperatures/land temperatures and huge weather systems that influence the climate of various continents and so the weather that we get region-by-region.
The Asian Monsoon for example is influenced by the Indian Ocean Dipole which seems to have been responsible for our drought in Australia during 2019 and before while Southern Pacific phenomena such as El Nino (usually responsible for Australian droughts) and El Nina (responsible for floods in Eastern Australia) were unnaccountably in recess (which itself might be a bad sign, we don't yet quite know).
What are called "Earth Sciences" did not begin until the early 1970s. All this is rather new, which is yet another thing that climate denialists (by their age and education or lack of education) cannot seem to get their head around. Climatology was complicated enough by 1971, when I did a course on it as a subset of Geography at university, and it utilised computer modelling even then. Computers have improved enormously since the 1970s, and I daresay so has computer modelling for economies, climates, for all sort of security systems including military security - computer modellng is not just used for work on climates - and so computer-based climate modelling changes.
Interestingly, climate denialists seem to shy away most from discussing how climate/weather seems to military minds - where climate changeability is seen more as a threat to be countered than anything else. In general, climate denialists do not study as many varables as do climate scientists. For example, they seldom mention ocean currents, which are incredibly important for world climate as they transport water of differing temperatures plus acid (water Ph) about the surface of the globe. (Planet Earth paradoxically is covered more by water than by earth - it should perhaps have been named Planet Ocean.) By the way, the Earth's water is held in place where it is basically by heat - the heat emanating from the earth's core, heat that keeps rocks molten as magma. Anyone who feels otherwise is not using geological thinking as a necessary tool.
We note as well that climate denialists seem not be be bothered by volcanoes, and even less by The Theory of Plate Tectonics. By 1912, Geology, rather fired up by the Theory of Evolution, (1859) needed a unifying theory. Which appeared in 1912 from Alfred Wegener as the Theory of Continental Drift, which was sharpened during the 1950s-1970s into the Theory of Plate Tectonics. (The surface of Planet Earth is decorated with nine major plates, plus water.) Theories of climate change are even newer.
But what is the actual state of play between Anthropogenic Global Warmists and the top-line climate denialists? And well, they tend to not get on as they annoy each other, partly as climate changers are more devoted to facts, whereas climate denialists value feelings possibly more than they value facts. (There is also some poor influences from standard media and social media ... (From the later 1990s, news outlets and social media started valuing feelings more than facts, this is one reason that we now have populism instead of good government in our politics in the Western World. -Ed)
"Greenhouse effects" (as they are called) arise from many sources including from water vapour (which forms clouds). Water importantly can change state - from ice, to liquid water to water vapour (humidity) and it can also transfer heat. Liquid water appears in many forms - as rain, from our taps or storages, river water, sea water.
Nitrous oxide. Is N2O, and results from soil cultivation, handling of fossil fuels, nitric acid and burns of biomass.
Methane is CH4 and arises from clathrates (which are too-seldom spoken off, see below), landfill and some waste handling, rice cultivation and ruminant (cows) digestion. One thing often absent from discussion of methane are the world's clathrates. Clathrates (once described as "trigger points from hell") are small packages of methane often preserved in tundra by ice, or found on the sea floor in Antartic regions, close to Antarctic lands. If these clathrates melt (the technical term is "sublime", ie, to sublimate), we are in serious trouble as their methane once released will speed up climate change/heat transfers, and it seems that in Russia and Canada, tundra is melting. Canada also has many lakes. What happens if they warm too much?
Carbon dioxide - CO2 - figures on which are up since the Industrial Revolution, Phase 1 of which began about 1760; from 280 parts per million (ppm) to 400 ppm (the normal figure used to be 0.04 per cent of the atmosphere). Heat is trapped in the lower atmosphere, not the upper. Earth's atmosphere has five basic levels. The lowest is the troposphere 4-to-12 miles, or 7-20km. Next is the stratosphere 31 miles or 50km high, where airliners and weather ballons fly. Our discussion involves the troposphere and the stratosphere, which are seldom seen as scientifically different by climate denialists.
Heat, as trapped by greenhouse gases (as theory goes), is the ultimate product of human-induced (Anthropogenic) climate change - or, climate change indexed by human and other activity. So excess heat, finally, is the real enemy of human life and systems, not greenhouse gases by themselves. This is why global warming is such an insidious problem. Yet another thing that climate denialists cannot seem to see is - heat imbalances. Ice melts (water changes state) due to heat imbalances, or rather, excess or badly re-distributed heat. South-east Australia has just burned due to a long-term excess of heat, which itself has had many different effects as we know, including wildlife being incinerated, so reducing bio-diversity. But if cold is seen as an absence of heat, this well explains a lot of US weather - which seems more an increasingly strange mix of excess heat and excess cold.
The world has about 54,000 glaciers, large and small. And the question is simple? Are they melting or not? Why? What could be a more obvious indicator of the rate of global warming than the state of our planet's glaciers?
Meantime, the Polish Archbishop discussed below, for example, is not thinking at all of how much extra carbon dioxide these Australian bushfires are putting newly into the planet's atmosphere. These Australian fires were preceded in near-time by fires in the Amazon Basin and preceded in far-time by fires in Indonesia, what price carbon dioxide? What price three large countries? Ironically, Australia has warmed and then has been pouring extra carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. Ironically we are addicted to producing more carbon dioxide, but it is time to diminish - and to decide what the issues really are ...
Artur Stelmasiak, editor of the Catholic magazine Niedziela, praised the Krakow archbishop for recognising “the problem of the extreme-left ideology of ecologism”, adding that “in my opinion, abortion, LGBT and climate are a common ideological vehicle”.
But other Polish voices piled on top of Jedraszewski.
Warsaw deputy mayor Pawel Rabiej, for example – from the liberal Modern (Nowoczesna) party – tweeted a photo of the Australian bushfires and wrote of the archbishop: “there is no worse plague in the civilised world than those who question the need to care for our planet”. Rabiej finished by telling Jedraszewski to “go to hell, that’s your place”.
Jedraszewski has a history of outrageous public statements and actions against homosexuals – whom he considers a “rainbow plague” invading Poland – and also against single women, whom he (has) fired from the Krakow Curia.
Not only are the Krakow archbishop’s comments on gays and women absolutely out of sync with the tone and direction of the Church, especially under Pope Francis, but his contempt for the environmental movement also clashes horribly with one of the major concerns of the current pontificate.
Just in the past month, the Pope has praised young people like Thunberg for showing “a heightened sensitivity to the complex problems” that arise from the climate “emergency”.
As if that papal support for Thunberg wasn’t sufficient, Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Cardinal Peter Turkson, described the young Swede as “a great witness to what the Church teaches on the care of the environment and the care of the person”. Former
Vatican spokesman and now deputy director of the Dicastery for Communication of the Holy See, Alessandro Gisotti, was the latest Church figure to come out in favour of Thunberg, describing her as an “icon” in a recent conference in Madrid.
Editor's comment: The Archbishop is definitely wrong that any of this has been "sudden". He is merely striving to protect his holy books (the Old and New testaments), which were written as recently as 600BC-100AD, not trying to protect a planet that is (so the scientists tell us) about 4.5 million years old. This good Archbishop in Poland (he must be good, he's an Archbishop) has simply not yet learned to think in terms of historical or geological time! That is, poor fellow, he is simply miseducated. Such issues have been discussed for 30 years or more, long before Greta Thunberg was even born. It seems more the case that this seems "sudden" only to a slow learner like this Archbishop. - Ed (who himself is aged 71, go figure) :::::::::::::::::::
The Good Morning Britain host called Craig Kelly, the Australian conservative Liberal MP, "disgraceful" for denying climate link to bushfires
Sarah Martin Chief political correspondent (Tue 7 Jan 2020 16.46 AEDT First published on Tue 7 Jan 2020 09.31 AEDT)
Senior Australian government ministers have sought to distance themselves from conservative Liberal MP Craig Kelly who sparked controversy by telling UK television there was no link between climate change and Australia’s bushfire crisis.
Kelly, a longstanding critic of climate change action, was lambasted as a “denier” and “disgraceful” by the conservative British commentator Piers Morgan and the meteorologist Laura Tobin in a combative interview on ITV overnight. He had earlier spoken to the BBC to claim that there was “no link” between climate change and Australia’s crippling drought, pegging blame for the bushfire crisis that has so far claimed 25 lives and destroyed almost 2,000 homes on a lack of hazard reduction. Asked about Kelly’s remarks, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the government’s view was that climate change was causing hotter, drier summers, while agreeing that fuel load was a contributing factor to the bushfires.
“Our view of climate change is that it’s real. We accept the science,” Frydenberg said.
Minister for the drought, David Littleproud, who has previously questioned whether climate change is being caused by human activity, also criticised Kelly’s remarks as a “sideshow”. “He doesn’t represent the views of the government,” Littleproud said. “I couldn’t give a rats what he said, it’s irrelevant, let’s just focus on those people that are out there that need our help.”
Australian Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said his reaction to Kelly’s comments was one of “despair”.
“Despair not just that Craig Kelly has those views and continues to advocate them, not just here in Australia, but globally, and be seen to be representing the Australian government’s position, but the knowledge that he’s one of the people who has held back action,” Albanese said.
“He’s one of the people who has stopped action on climate change domestically, which has led us to be in a position whereby we’re actually, as well, arguing for less action internationally, rather than more.” “The tragedy is that he’s imposed those views along with a few others to ensure that Australia isn’t taking action.”
Labor’s shadow infrastructure minister Catherine King suggested Kelly had been put up for the interview by the government, saying it was “beyond embarrassing”. “I did @BBCRadio4 against him Sunday. The producer said they had asked for a senior government rep and this is who @ScottMorrisonMP thought was the best person to represent his government,” King said on Twitter.
But a spokesman for the Coalition said “the suggestion was fanciful” that Kelly had been put forward to represent the views of the government, and Kelly told Guardian Australia he had not spoken to the prime minister’s office before agreeing to the interview request.
Kelly had told ITV that the cause of the fire crisis was high fuel loads and the drought, and there was no evidence that climate change was causing Australia’s climate to warm.
“This is a terrible disaster, this is one of our nation’s worst natural disasters, and in the past when we have these in our nation we all sat back and did what we could to fix it up, rather than people getting out there and scoring political points and that is what’s happening now,” he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain. “To try to make out as some politicians have to hijack this debate, exploit this tragedy and push their ideological barrow, that somehow or another the Australian government could have done something by reducing its carbon emissions that would have reduced these bushfires is just complete nonsense,” Kelly said.
Morgan savaged Kelly for his remarks, saying he was taking a “nothing to see here, nothing to worry about” approach as “your entire country is eviscerated by fires”. “You are facing now one of the greatest crises you have ever faced, and there is you Mr Kelly, with respect, a senior politician who still doesn’t think this has anything to do with a heating-up planet,” Morgan said.
Tobin accused Kelly of denying the science which showed that 2019 was Australia’s hottest and driest year on record.
“At the moment we want everyone to commit in the world to be one and a half degrees to lower our global temperature rise,” Tobin said. “You can’t even commit to two degrees.
“You have the second highest carbon emissions per person on Earth and you are burying your head in the sand. You aren’t a climate sceptic, you are a climate denier,” she said.
Cutting off the interview, Morgan said: “I’ve got to say: wake up. Wake up. Climate change and global warming are real and Australia right now is showing the entire world just how devastating it is. “And for senior politicians in Australia to still pretend there’s no connection is absolutely disgraceful.”
Kelly also used the interview to defend Scott Morrison for taking a holiday to Hawaii during the bushfire crisis, saying the management of fires was primarily the states’ responsibility.
The remarks came after the conservative backbencher appeared on the BBC on Saturday, claiming that there was no link between climate change and Australia’s drought.
“There is no link, the facts that cause the fires are the drought and the drying of the environment,” Kelly said. “On this, climate scientists down here have been very clear and they have said there is no link between drought and climate change.”
“People here in Australia understand – if they look at the evidence and look at the signs – there is nothing that we can do here in Australia by sending billions more off to China to buy solar panels to replace our coal-fired electricity generators,” he said.
“That is not going to change the weather here in Australia one iota and is not going to stop one bushfire.” This apocalyptic Australian summer is our Sandy Hook moment – if we don't take climate action now we never will
Speaking on ABC’s Radio National on Tuesday morning, Kelly doubled down on the remarks, saying Morgan did “not want to hear the facts” and arguing that hazard reduction was more important than taking action on climate change. He said people were exploiting the bushfire tragedy “for ideology”, and the cause of the fires was “the dryness of the atmosphere and the landscape”, while rejecting suggestions that the Coalition was home to a group of denialist MPs. “There is no denialist cult,” Kelly said.
He also referred to Tobin as a “weather girl” who “had no idea what she was talking about”. “She says the Australia continent is drying out and that is just not true.”
Tobin responded to the criticism on Twitter on Tuesday morning, pointing to her degree in physics and meteorology, and her four years’ experience as an aviation forecaster at the Royal Air Force.
Laura Tobin (@Lauratobin1) Yes I’m a Meteorologist -A degree in Physics & Meteorology -4 yrs as an aviation forecaster at the RAF -12 yrs as a broadcast meteorologist -Attended a @WMO Climate course last year & upto date with all the science #NotAWeatherGirl #IKnowWhatImTalkingAbout#DoYou?#ClimateChange https://t.co/fvwTpzftTI January 6, 2020
The remarks come as Morrison defends the government’s climate change policy, while stressing there is “no dispute” in Australia about the impact of global warming on Australia’s climate.
“I have seen a number of people suggest that somehow the government does not make this connection,” the prime minister said. “The government I lead has always made that connection and that has never been in dispute.”
Kelly, who established the Parliamentary Friends of Coal Exports for likeminded MPs, has been a longstanding internal critic of government attempts to reduce carbon emissions, and was a vocal critic of the former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s attempt to introduce a national energy policy.
He has also argued against any government investment into renewable energy, calling for subsidies for households and businesses to be scrapped.
After Morrison became leader, Kelly was told to rein in media appearances, particularly on Sky News, where he had become a frequent guest of conservative commentators. Kelly has twice had his preselection threatened but in 2016 Turnbull intervened to prevent a moderate challenging him for the seat of Hughes, and before the 2019 election Morrison also moved to ensure his incumbency was protected.
From an ABC news report of 8-1-2020 - Ross Garnaut's climate change prophecy is coming true and it's going to cost Australia billions, experts warn ...
By business reporter Nassim Khadem -
Twelve years ago, economist Ross Garnaut made a prophecy that has devastatingly come true. Key points:
The insurance damage bill from the bushfires that began in September has risen to $700 million On 10-1-2020 are views that the insurance bill might reach $1 billion due to more than 11,000 claims, if not $20 billion.
Conservative estimates put the final cost well into the billions of dollars
Australia's tourism industry could suffer, health costs could spike and there are warnings about more climate-related litigation
In the 2008 Garnaut Climate Change Review, which examined the scientific evidence around the impacts of climate change on Australia and its economy, he predicted that without adequate action, the nation would face a more frequent and intense fire season by 2020. Speaking to the ABC about the latest bushfires and the potential economic fallout, Professor Garnaut refrained from taking a direct shot at policymakers who ignored many of the review's calls for action.
But he noted: "If you ignore the science when you build a bridge, the bridge falls down."
And do you think Sco Mo is doing well with managing any of this? But who do you tell? Eg., re Steggall's Bill in Wharingha what used to be Abbott's seat. Her Bill is like the UK in 2008, and is for an inquiry into "climate change". It's a place at least to start. It takes days. Crikey.com on 10-2-2020 reports that: STEGGALL LAUNCHES CLIMATE BILL - Independent MP Zali Steggall has called for a conscience vote on a proposed climate change bill, urging self-styled “modern Liberals” to commit to climate risk assessment, a national adaptation program, a target of net zero emissions by 2050, and (another) independent climate change commission.
The Guardian reports that Steggall — who will officially launch the conscience vote campaign this morning with Centre Alliance’s Rebekha Sharkie — is finalising the legislation for introduction to parliament in March.
The news comes as Angus Taylor tells The Age the Coalition plans to settle its 2050 strategy ahead of the crucial Glasgow climate summit in November.
Weekend SMH 21-22 Dec., 2019: Paris, France: The executive director of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, has issued to Australia a "dire climate warning", debate is "off the rails". "Get your act together." What is this disconnect? This is a collision between policy experts and politicians who think they know better. A new approach is needed to shake up vested interests.
Next fish kill risk "worse now than last summer', experts predict. Catastrophic fire conditions prevail in NSW. Burns, heatstroke, stress: firefighter health hazards. David Crowe writes that Sydney smoke haze shows a lack of leadership and needless lies from ScoMo. A headline in letters-to-editor section says "Mounting crises expose our leadership vacuum".
News Review section: Peter Hartcher writes: ScoMo knows not the difference between occupying high office and exercising leadership. Where the bloody hell was he? "Political leaders exist to solve problems, not avoid them." ScoMo is too passive. "It may be that ScoMo is simply too small-minded or politically timorous to respond to his country's needs." And why is Australia's electricity the world's most expensive?
"'The Monster': a short history of Australia's biggest forest fire (on the Gosper's Mountain fire, a national parks area. 449,000 ha burned; from October 26, hot weather, a lightning strike. To 16 Nov. Ember-attacks too, about 20km ahead of a major fire.
Letters-to-editor: "We needed a leader, we got a holidaymaker".
Sydney Morning Herald, 23 Dec 2019: Repentant PM returns to flames but denies split on climate policy. Bid to flood Hunter Valley mines to "drought-proof" regions. Losses soar in Adelaide Hills with 72 homes destroyed. Firestorm all but wipes out rural village. Columnists says, should we consider nuclear power? Lexi Landsman salutes heroes as "our beloved country burns". Bushfires bring hope for new vision of how to handle disasters.
The official period of Australian bushfire emergency in 29 Dec. 2019-Jan. 5 2020 as defined by Federal government, in the view of linguist Tim Moore from Swinburne University, who for crikey.com (23-1-2020) has examined Scomo's verbal behaviour on the matter, some 36,500 words ScoMo uttered. And ScoMo used the word "climate change" rarely if ever; which makes ScoMo a near-climate-denialist is he isn't one fully (like Trump). This website reads the data as suggesting that ScoMo used the words "anthropogenic global warming" exactly never. This AGG is THE Big NoNo in world politics! And in too much journalism too.
Weekend SMH 4-5 Jan., 2020: The paper itself says, Fire emergency, unprecedented bushfire crisis. (Note: critics have contested this use of the word "unprecedented", which became quite popular with media outlets for the entire duration of this crisis. - Ed) - "He just wanted photos", Mother's fury at PM. Mass evacuation as NSW braces for 'frightening' fire conditions. Threat to energy grid as fires bear down on power lines. Canberra said 'no' to expanding airtanker fleet.
News Review section, and the headline reads: "Meltdown: 'Australia's first climate refugees'"
Nick O'Malley writes, "The world watches as Australia burns". Our leaders have been found wanting, for not planning for such catastrophe, for their refusal to accept the realities of climate change and its link to burning fossil fuels such as coal. ScoMo has been shunned by fire victims at Cobargo, and it was reported internationally. ScoMo's "lethargic approach" to climate change has been noted by The Economist. Meantime, Al Jazeera notes that Australia has 0.3 per cent of the world's population but accounts for 1.3 per cent of the world's emissions. Australia is now seen by Europe not as pristine but as the western country most ravaged by climate change. Its reputation has been tarnished. The cat is out of the bag, the attitude to climate change is seen as a mere protection for the coal industry, and this (by the way) goes to energy production, not steel production. This has all been a violent collision between economic and political realities.
Sydney Morning Herald on 6 Jan, 2020: Fires spark inquiry. Hundreds of NSW properties lost. State Liberals vent their anger at ScoMo. Plea for more aerial water tankers ignored for two years. NSW to hold inquiry into parks land management regimes.
New fires: By pre-sunset 10-1-2020, Victorian alpine region alert. Coonabarabran NSW, fire due to dry lightning strike (soon downgraded), and Springwood in Blue Mountains NSW, similar. Major fire south of Perth WA. The Blue Mountains area continues to cause anxiety by the 13th.
This website has been wondering what to do/say about Australian/world business-in-general for 2020, but the Xmas 2019 and early 2020 bushfires in Australia plus various issues worldwide have decided the problem for us. We are going to err on the side of anxiety world-wide about what to do with "the environment", on the grounds that if we are wrong, all we have to do is apologise, which in the circumstances would be a pleasure. But if we are right, there'll be hell to pay by all of us. So climate-change pessimism it is. We have it seems paid too much attention to climate change deniers who deny that world-wide warming has human-made causes, who now seem to be timewasters and feral with it, people to be fiercely ignored in future. People like Rupert Murdoch. Or one of Murdoch's editors in Australia , Chris Kenny. Like One-Nation-lookalike Barnaby Joyce. Like Tony Abbott (He's a firey, why isn't the media ambulance-chasing his unit for his and his firemates' opinions?) Like Sen. for NSW Jim Molan. Like Peta Credlin, onetime advisor to PM Tony Abbott. Or, "newspaper columnist" Miranda Devine. Or "newspaper columnist" Piers Akerman. Or the rapdily-ageing "Sydney broadcaster", Alan Jones.
We begin by noting in how-much contempt the current Prime Minister of Australia is held - Scott Morrison is his name, a marketing man from Sydney. How long can Morrison last? people are asking. On 10-1-2020 are rallies held in Sydney re "climate emergency", will politicians do something! Our current Australian fires are unprecedented, and so is the contempt in which ScoMo, as he calls himself, is now held. (Similar, but not as noticeable, is the contempt in which Morrison's entire Cabinet is held in many circles for their climate-change denialism. See below re sports rorter Bridget MacKenzie.)
On Kangaroo Island SA, about 50 homes destroyed.
Lootings of fire sites are being reported in NSW. [Disgusted]
Statistics: Is it true (by 13-1-2020) that insurance companies (in Sydney) have imposed an embargo on new claims, new business, new buildings? By 7-1-2020: Insurance loss assessors are being brought in from overseas by Australian insurers. Human deaths = 28 or more (SBS TV News on the 8th says 26). About 9000 insurance claims had come in at last report. Homes destroyed = 2200 via a report of many days ago. The insurance bill by 15-1-2020 is about $1.34 bn. And Australia still awaits a considered review from the insurance industries.
Price Movements (likely). Honey prices to rise. Petrol prices, up, and not helped by conflict from 8 Jan. between USA and Iran. (Japan obtains most of its oil from Iran. Increasing Middle East tensions now seems a bad way to guarantee future lower fuel prices in the West) ... People are asking if milk price rises will be passed on to producers or not? (This anxiety about milk pricing in only days transmutes into the "fair go" movement.)
Donations by Big Stars: (Donations are usually made directly to the fireys = volunteers or free labour, but fireys could in circumstances be sent to their deaths, which is more BTW than could ever be said of the PM of Australia. Oh yes, "give me liberty or give me death"). From film actor Nicole Kidman (plus musician husband Keith Urban). From actors Chris Hemsworth. Joel Edgerton. Tribute to fireys from actress Cate Blanchett. From Australian comedian Celeste Barber, AUD$47-50 millions, extraordinary! (But see a sad story on RFS/firey legal inability to receive such funds in Weekend Australian 11-12 Jan 2020, p. 7., "$50m donations in limbo as legal solution sought".) From Ash Barty and other Australian tennis stars. From British musician Sir Elton John ($1 million). Paul Ramsay Foundation. The band Metallica. Musician, Pink. Prince Charles, remarks on TV. Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest, AUD$70 million. (Extraordinary). Cricketer Shane Warne auctions his baggy green Test cap (buyer is reportedly The Commonwealth Bank). Actor Leonard di Caprio, $4 million, it is not said if it is AUD or USD. (We sourly note the lying world right wing propaganda that di Caprio was responsible for the recent Amazon fires.) Kylie Jenner. Singers Kylie Minoque and her sister Danni. James Packer and Crown Foundation. Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch. John and Paul Gandel. Anthony Pratt and Foundation. Alex Waislitz and Foundation. Justin Hemmes. Hilary Duff. Margot Robbie. Paris Hilton. Selena Gomez. Lizzo. ANZ Bank (AUD$1m). News Ltd in Aust/Rupert Murdoch AUD$5 million. Australian Open raises $5 million. Weekend SMH 11-12 Jan., 2020 advises that cash donations are more than $150 million, with $100 million coming from the corporate sector. Donors include Morgan Stanley, software provider Atlassian, members of Business Council of Australia. Banks such as JP Morgan, Bank of America, Merril Lynch. Various law firms in Australia such as Asshurst, Clayton Utz, King and Wood Mallesons, Minter Ellison. Dulux Group. Telstra and Optus would help bushfire victims and volunteer firefighters. US singer Bette Midler. Gina Rhinehart (private charity). Glencore Australia, $1 million (they're BTW and in part a coal miner in Australia). Seven Group Holdings plus friends, $10 million.
Predictions: 14 Jan., 2020, Fresh vegetables could jump their prices by 50%. crikey.com warns of more fish kills as bushfire ashes and sediments enter water systems. Others warn of contaminated water storages/supplies for same reason. A new paradigm is needed for fire prevention and fire fighting, say many writers of letters-to-editor by 13th Jan. And this is uncanny. On 13-1-2020 the SMH TV Guide p. 3 has a story by Craig Mathieson on The Commons, a miniseries of TV drama that mimics that Australian bushfire emergency - headlined "the end of the world as we know it". Mathieson finds it impossible to watch The Commons, set in a smoke-hazed Sydney, then watch TV news on the bushfires, and not to make comparisons. The Commons at various levels is about life, death and childbirth, dystopian reality, "the personal fault lines between creation and destruction", hopelessness about climate vs hope; and has refugee checkpoints in Sydney, an autistic child as a self-aware truth teller (Greta Thunberg?). The Commons is available via Stan.
Politics in Australia - from Jan. 13th: ScoMo has fallen dramatically in the polls due to mishandling the bushfire emergency. The unforgettable cartoon in SMH one Friday; ScoMo's spiritual adviser is a lump of coal. On 13 Jan. we find that crikey.com returns to us after the Christmas break and Bernard Keane writes, "The government is guilty of criminal neglect - but it's not alone ... a great policy failure has occurred" ... " Mr. Keane sure pulls no punches. Well, how good are rhetorical questions now?
Warnings: George Megalogenis writes eloquently in Sydney Morning Herald News Review 11-12 Jan., 2020 that "Up in smoke", ScoMo "has missed the biggest political opportunity - to rise above politics and to lead" ... and compares him unfavourably to Paul Keating as PM. Megalogenis ends, "If Morrison is to make something of the bushfire crisis, he has to convince the rest of the world that Australia is serious about climate change." (Which is precisly what this webpage thinks that ScoMo has not done adequately.)
But Megalogenis avoids one theme this webpage's e-mailers are increasingly talking about (but which is so far hard to prove) - the idea that ScoMos's mysteriously slow response to this bushfire disaster is due to his Pentecostal religious beliefs about "the end times". An allegation which looks set soon to become urban myth. (It is also alleged that in USA, Pres. G. W. Bush's inane and slow response to Hurricane Katrina/New Orleans was due to weird religious beliefs re "End Times".)
Weekend SMH 11-12 Jan., 2020: New Corps commercial finance manager Emily Townsend says, "It is unconscionable what this company has been doing when it comes to climate change". (A leaked email, etc.)
A headline reads: "Rebuilding after the firestorm" and a retired army officer in NSW thinks it will take two years for his area to recover. In the same issue, Elizabeth Farrelly asks: should wilful MPs pay for this climate calamity? (We think not.)
Weekend Australian's 11-12 Jan 2020 notorious story on arsonists p6 much quotes a psychologist, Assoc-Prof. Troy McEwan of Swinburne University (a woman), who has been studying bushfires for 12 years. The "Australian newspaper meanwhile has been in much trouble for its resort to stories on arson/arsonists in the interests of "climate denialism", (inspired by US conspiracy theorists, ie, by anecdotalism) but the story (and all p. 6) seems fair and notes from a name at Melbourne University that a national overview on arsonist's work is made difficult due to State laws and uneven stats on convictions. But there is a confusing item ("Americans tune in to a nation's tragedy") on p. 7 of this newspaper to effect that tweets labelled #ArsonEmergency have promoted inaccurate information on arsonists' work in Australia, and that US activists perhaps have also employed bots to do similar, in order to imply that these Australian bushfires and "climate change" are not linked. But there are Australian views that "misinformation" re arsonists' work has been spread in Australia by National Party interests. (Whereas, a commentator such as actor Russell Crowe says assertively these matters are linked; he means, linked to global warming. Who do you believe? This website says, less power to tweets and misinformation from the USA then.
Elizabeth Farrelly in SMH News Review for 11-12 Jan, 2020, complains that "bots and trolls spread 'it's arson-not-climate' type lies across social media and that sites such as sciencealert.com also report massive attacks from climate trolls ..." But it also seems that Rupert Murdoch's credibility as a newspaperman, as a publisher of newspapers, is now shot entirely to pieces. C'est la vie. Are these problems due to "climate change" or are they due to Anthropogenic Global Warming is the question here, Rupert! Which is it, hmm? (And what are his newspapers in UK or Israel saying about these Australian fires?)
More warnings: How to dispose of bushfire-damaged bank notes? Does Australia have enough water or air vehicles for this sort of fire fighting? What about people who need electricity for medical devices. What if power is out, or mobile phone networks are patchy? People running out of medications? Should the armed forces have helped more or sooner? What about asbestos being dumped from burned-out buildings? How much should government do? After this, should Australia show the world more leadership about the politics of "climate change". (This webpage thinks so.) (The SMH News Review section on 8-9 Feb 2020 took upon itself to say, p. 25, "Lightning strikes and long range ember attacks , not arson, were the major (bushfire) culprits," as "holiday havens were about to descend into scenes resembling a disaster movie". Rob Harris writes on weathgerboard and iron and the willpower of B. Joyce, who seems willing to destabilise the Morrison government if it means he can better attack McCormack and his friends in the NP. (This webpage would like to remind absent-minded readers that Mr. Joyce, former deputy PM of Australia or not, is MP for New England, not Northern Queensland. And that on 8-9-2-2020, the editor-of-letters to editor for SMH pointed out that Joyce had attracted much attention from the SMH correspondents and was not popular with them.)
Media musings: When is the Australian media collectively and responsibly going to make a decision on the issues and decide to report climate change issues fairly, honestly, with an eye to the science being "in".
Questions: Will the Reserve Bank cut official interest rates in Feb. 2020? From Kate Cotter (who in 2015 established the Australan Bushfire Building Conference). How to design more fire-resistant buildings? Many of the buildings lost in recent fires were built before the days of current building codes. Codes re insurance may also be changed. Bushfire risks: some two million homes in Australia are built in or near bushland, too many to police properly. And this webpage wants to know, as it has seen only two chain saws in TV news in many days of coverage - why does TV news not show scenes of the use of electricity generators or chain saws? (In watching much of the long TV coverage of these fires, we have seen a chain saw only twice and evidence of use of a chain saw only once!) BTW when did ScoMo or any of his Cabinet announce that fire victims should simply phone or walk into their nearest Centrelink (a national organisation) for assistance? This is so simple that we should ask: why was it not done early in the scenario?
SMH 13 Jan, 2020: Front page: PM shifts rhetoric but defers action re possible emissions cuts. Fire-hit business are warned of years of hardship to come. Food dropped to hungry wallabies. Fires an "ecological tragedy". Six charged re looting. Rain relief hoped for. Sydney hit with smoke haze. Energy industry fights to keep lights on. Letters-to-editor section carries claim that water in Sydney is too cheap. Envorinmental costs of Australian inaction in climate change now obvious. Are social reactions to bushfire disasters going too far? Columnists think: this is the PM's trial-by-fire. David Crowe, chief political correspondent for SMH, tries to read ScoMo's smoke signals re climate and all he finds is the words "evolve", "resilience" and "adaptation". Too passive. Refusing to declare war on climate change deniers. A change in the marketing without change in the product.
News items: Item 7 of 14 November 2019: Does this website actually know anyone harmed by NSW's current spate of bushfires? (Megafires?)" Well, one friend was burned out at Wytaliba. But as the climate skeptics keep saying, no, no, no, there is no problem. So we suppose that no matter how bad the Sydney or the Canberra air quality gets, the unhappiness of our burned-out friend is just for show? A form of hysteria? Just to spite people like One-Nation-lookalike and top-line climate change denier Barnaby Joyce? So we guess we'd better continue blaming Greta Thunberg. Even better, we could elect politicians who are actually going to do something useful re climate change and associated issues. Who said we are safely outside the bounds of the politics of fear in Australia? Why for example is there never quite enough money to be able to continue to run things? What's wrong with the tax system? Is it not bright enough yet to realise the scale of the problem?
Item 6 of November 2019: Australia has been subject to successive droughts ever since after-1788 and the first arrival of Britishers. And presumably long before 1788. As everyone in Australia learns in History at High School. So when 2019's politicians speak their nonsense about 2019 drought in Australia and drought "underestimation", as they have been lately, what they really mean is that they have failed utterly.
How does one know this clearly? One only has to read a nationally-known poem, "My Country", by Dorothea Mackellar c. 1911. About a land of droughts and floods. It is hardly new news!
News Item 5: As at 30-10-2019 - Does the Australian Tax Office (ATO) need to lift its game? As for some years now? Well, yes, says this website. Bigly.
News item 4: And what do you mean, there's not a psychological problem in Australia with processing information due to Anthropogenic Global Warming? One of the single biggest employers of meteorologists in the country is, the media (print and TV). Go figure. Try on also, the Australian aviation industry. Is there a problem here, that's what I want to know!? Who should we ask here? The teachers of the meteorologists? (Australia has 43 universities.) Maybe we could start with asking the Vice-Chancellor's Commission of Australia? But who is "we" here? The Australian media? Which is currently overbusy with running either an anti-government secrecy campaign! Or regarding bushfires. What? This does not apply to The Guardian in Australia, which evidently feels "the science is in". Just how much to worry is a real question for realists.
News Item 3: Why does the world green movement not help sponsor a nightly, broadcast-on-TV digest on sustainable investment opportunites around the world? Not yet serious enough about environmental issues?
News Item 2: Melbourne Cup Emergency! The racing industry in Australia is not wealthy enough to buy a property somewhere for the decent retirement of racehorses? Pull the other one!
News Item 1: Barnaby, Barnaby, Barnaby, where were you when we really needed you? There's a drought on, mate! What are we gonna do now?
Stock exchange fluctuations:
Fuel: Australia's storage for liquid fuel for motor vehicles situation is not good. Maybe distribution problems will arise?
Changes for Australia? On 13 Jan. we find that Federal Government has allocated $50 million for animal welfare. Why are so few chain saws and generators evident on Australian news broadcasts of these fires? (Fear of accusations of product placement?) Expect a huge political uproar later in 2020 from the local government sector once it recovers and voices its opinion to State/Federal government. Modified roads? No more wooden bridges? No more houses, farms, settlements allowed to be snuggling into the bush? It's a $20 billion hole in the Australian economy, the pundit says. But will the data show in the December quarter or the March quarter? (Probably the March quarter).
The media ... Let's hear it now for criticisms of the ABC! As if anyone would dare right now, so let's see Tony Abbott try it on now? [Ok, Tone] (And is it the right time or not to crit the ABC just now?) Can anyone recall a scenario before in Australia where the media (all the journalists) have taken the part of the fireys and the public, not the government - and so quickly too, and without even being asked. I can't. Could it be that ScoMo when he took a piece of coal into Parliament caused - a more widespread revulsion than we thought? Lost citation: water shortages in the Outback are endangering dialysis of Aboriginal patients. (Dialysis takes 600 litres of water.)
SMH of 3-2-2020, p. 21, Opinion page, Rosalind Dixon (Prof. Law at UNSW) and Richard Holden (Prof Economics at UNSW) opine on the virtues of the Australian Carbon Dividend Plan and how it benefits investment in new renewables. Weekend SMH 1-2 Feb., 2020, p.12: NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean (whom ScoMo asserts is little known) lauds NSW Govt (which is currently Liberal/National) now has a $2 billion arrangement with the Commonwealth (a "green deal") - and says it makes for a new consensus within the Coalition on climate change". The same print media says also "scientists pursue green energy's holy grail": a carbon-neutral version of the fuels that power modern aviation. p. 13 - Change your diet now due to climate change; give up on red meat. What about artificial meat then? The so-called vegan meat?
The Australian, 25-26 Jan., 2020: Qld State to look into provision of recycled watrer in state's south-east. SMH on 25-26 Jan., 2020: News Review section, Nick O'Malley says, "Your money serves the Nationals' interest", "No bank will fund a coal-fired power plant and no insurer will insure one."
23-1-2020 ABC Lunchtime TV: Seagrasses can sop up carbon dioxide (up to 40x what a rainforest can cater for) - why is this not being further researched by governments? The idea to make lakes of de-commissioned coal mines (based on a successful model in Germany) in the NSW Hunter Valley seems excellent to this webpage. What of more in Australia of world's best practice? Indeed, why isn't the entire world not now engaged in world's best practice re climate change, due to "cultural differences"? What on earth (pun intended) is the point of respecting cultural differences if the planet becomes unliveable?
SMH 25-26 Jan., 2020: News Review section, Matthew Knott, an Australian journalist who has spent time in USA, reflects on this bushfire season that: politicians in Australia are behaving as though this disaster was a normal part of Australian life (instead of actually doing anything useful); Australians seems to be living in different information ecosystems; misinformed conspiracy theories (anecdotalism) about the fires are circulating on Facebook and Knott heads into controversial areas as he recalls how Trump blamed California's recent bushfires on lack of hazard reduction and praised the Finns for their hazard reduction, though the Finns were mystified by such claims. Elizabeth Farrelly thinks Straya is entering a "death-by-stupid" phase.
By 23-1-2020, anything by ScoMo from Marketing except examining further into Sen. Bridget MacKenzie. Various writers of letters-to-editor have recalled that the pre-1788 Australian Aboriginals used to be a dab hand with ways of fire-controlling this island-continent and its resources. (Watch the fireys doing backburning. Read Bruce Pascoe's writings.) This webpage has thought about the issues associated, and it's true enough, some of our Aboriginal friends might be useful in minor ways with fire-controlling our national parks, eg., reduction of fuel loads by Aboriginal rangers (which is also an employment and so a funding matter). But are our letter-writers looking here through rose-coloured glasses at methods (cool burns) which are outmoded by modern settlement patterns, and modern-day matters such as the siting of liquid fuel depots, caches of poisons, bridges (wooden or concrete?) over watercourses, highways/roads and sitings of national parks, siting of electricity lines in rural areas. It all looks rather different and developed to us as compared to 1788! The idea however might be good for specific areas? Not that Australia isn't due for a decided shake-up and a re-think; it is. Meantime, "cultural fire practitioners" are said to be applying for greater funding; ABC TV says, "fighting fire with fire".
The electricity grid: It seems to this webpage that what Australia needs is a more flexible electricity grid, one that can take and transmit electricity from multiple sources as coal is phased out and found less likeable by investors; hydo-elecricity from large or small plants; solar, wind, battieries of various sizes. Maybe tidal power. Maybe small nuclear plants. But would this be an engineering, an ideological or a political challenge? But eek, don't mention the war! Sorry, did I mention the war? Did I also mention the huge void that will appear in the politics we are used to as reliance on coal and/or fossil fuels evaporates and reliance on other energy sources takes up. It is this void in political power that has had politicians like Tony Abbott running scared. This also is the void that climate denialists are really talking about when they say that (God is dead) a void appears when humanity (for whatever reasons that occur to it) lets go of God!
Quotes memorable: A Sydney placard: "The climate is changing but we aren't." Whereas, ScoMo said on 11-1-2020: "This is [now] a healing time for Australia." Thus in the land of Lest We Forget, we remember so badly. C'est la vie ...
From our e-mailers: One of our respected e-mailers has recently sent us the following relevant quote from Plato ...
3-1-2020: Prof. Chris Dickman of Sydney University (an environmental scientist) estimates that 480 million animals are bushfire-affected in NSW since Sep. 2019. This figure is revised by 8 Jan. to 800 million.
From 4-5 January 2020, Weekend Australian: $500 million is needed for NSW hazard reduction burns (ScoMo, what is the national figure). Fire forces brace for battle. Premier does not blame colleague for attack on PM. Residents furious at "lessons learned". Heat blast poses electricity grid threat (Grid in NSW and VIC seems vulnerable. NSW south coast is hard hit. NSW government is moving generators to 5800 customers about Sussex Inlet). Economic blow adding insult to injury for towns. Finance pages have it that "CSIRO warned of 'angry' summers" (re CSIRO climate scientist Dr. Pep Canadell). Finance pages also have a fascistic article [Climate cloud has silver lining for Australia] which tells us all about "climate intervention" - from carbon capture/storage to using chemical clouds to reflect sunlight back to space, quoting University of Tasmania's Prof. Philip Boyd, who says, "We can be a global leader in terms of climate intervention": And all we need to ask is: how much territory would these climate interventions involve, how many voters would be involved in how many different countries?
While you may not have known it, but involved here (in "geo-engineering") are, or might be, Bill Gates, now philanthropist and formerly a head of US computer giant Microsoft; Australia has an Emissions Reduction Fund, an Australian Government Disaster and Climate Resilience Reference Group at Dept. of Environment and Energy, (which answers to embattled Energy Minister Angus Taylor), an entity called Emergency Management Australia headed by its director-general Mark Crosweller. Plus an Australian Business Roundtable for disaster resilience.
In the line of fire: the scale of the bushfires brings new challenges. Firestorms follow move away from cool burning. (By environment editor Graham Lloyd, much quoting of bushfire researcher Christine Finlay and old-style Australian forester Vic Jurkis plus old-style chief fire officer of Victoria, Athol Hodgson. This article says, "Linking bushfires to climate change scientifically is still contentious given the long history of fires in Australia. But for the Greens and climate groups making the link politically is a no-brainer."). Sheer terror: all in this together. (Much quoting of climate scientist Judith Curry.) Gerard Henderson's column is soberly headlined "Unhappy New Year but fires aren't end of the world." Peter Van Onselen a Prof. of Politics at University of Western Australia and Griffith University in Queensland gets stuck into NSW Minister for Emergency Services, David Elliott, who is MIA, holidaying overseas in Europe. IAG calls for bushfire mitigation. [IAG is a large insurer]. Generators in high demand after bushfires and other disasters hit electricity supplies (in California USA). And a teaser on the front page says "Warren Buffett bets on solar".
(A good corrective to Rupert Murdoch's drift here might be, Bianca Nogrady, (Ed.), The Best Australian Science Writing 2019., a book which contains essays on Climate Change, the impact of feral animals on Australia, etc.) See also, Joelle Gergis, Sunburnt Country: The History and Future of Climate Change in Australia. Melbourne University Press, 2018. For a nation much-afflicted by flood, fire and drought, iy is seemingly indicative of Australian brainlessness (or is it due to our colonialism) that Gergis's book is the first climate history to be published in Australia. We ought to have dozens of such books! By the way, why hasn't Murdoch's book publisher, HarperCollins, not yet published on the problem? Hmm? Can't find a writer?)
From 4-5 Jan., 2020, Sydney Morning Herald Business: IAG disaster budget blown as bushfire claims roll in ... Public's disgust at food safety system is justified ... Ross Gittins writes on "How we caught the economic growth bug but may shake it off" (The idea of GDP is no longer fit for purpose.) ... ... ...
From Sydney Morning Herald, 6 January 2020. Fires spark inquiry. Hundreds of NSW properties lost. State Liberals vent their anger on Morrison (who is allegedly "disconnected"). Bushland turns into smouldering matchsticks. Man, 47, dies helping to defend his mate's home. Exhausted families finally escape Mallacoota (while we hear, the local beach is littered with dead birds of all kinds). Plea for more fire-fighting tankers ignored by government for two years. NSW to hold inquiry into land management in parks. 'In uncharted territory". Public appeals helped avoid major power cuts in NSW. 'Ecocide': Royals warn on climate, bushfires. Season's first cyclone brewing off north-west coast. Letters-to-editor: Message for ScoMo, a national disaster is not marketing fodder. When power and internet fail, the ABC is our lifeblood. Opinion: Autopilot reveals PM's triviality (Sean Kelly). Thank goodness for neighbours in disastrous times like these (Richard Glover). Morrison right on one thing: climate change requires global action (Ross Gittins).
11-1-2020: And a Sunday - Why is Sco Mo so active on Sundays? What's wrong with weekdays? ABC TV news indicates that Australian PM Sco Mo has declared that Australia will after all have a Royal Commission into bushfires. (As far as this webpage is concerned, we are cynical - ScoMo here is just outsourcing the legitimations of his policy shifts toward "climate change" in order to deflect criticisms from his parliamentary Coalition colleagues.) Australia's defence forces could in future be more-and-earlier deployed than they have been (but does this have Constitutional ramifications?). Pauline Hanson reckons that this Royal Commission should not look at climate change as it is BS. But really, what would she know? Has she ever passed a course on Climatology? Repeat: what would Pauline (Please Explain) Hanson actually know?
In Weekend Australian, 11-12 Jan 2020, Business pages says, "inferno forces investor rethink". The letters to editor page is humourously dominated by Harry-and-Meghan issues, but columnist Caroline Overington says, "Morrison's troubles all of his own making". John Cantwell (a retired major-general) says, "Black Saturday blueprint to repair shattered lives: Rebuilding our fire-ravaged communities is a massive task that will take years, not months". Adam Creighton the Economics Editor mentions how in Sydney 26 years ago, fires ravaged Sutherland Shire. GDP vs lives lost and hectares burned. Some 40 per cent of Australians surveyed in 2019 thought 2020 would be worse than 2019. Lyndon Schneider (a former director of Wilderness Society and environmental writer) is convinced "change must happen" as "In this new normal, business as usual will no longer cut it". The most fireprone regions of Planet Earth are Australia, California, Mediterranean area. Australia's dominant weather patterns are hot and dry although 50,000 years ago in megafauna days, Australia was wetter and cooler. [2019 was the warmest and driest year on record since records began.] Fires are more intense as Australia is becoming drier, more quickly. It looks so far as if 6.5 million hectares were burned by January 2020; in 2016-2018 about 10 million hectares were burned. In 1851, five million hectares of Victoria were burned. There were bushfires too in 1939, known as Black Friday fires. The current fires mean a complete rethink of policies, fundings, actions on the ground. Our Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) are meaningless/outmoded. National environment laws need an overhaul. Allegations re arsonists/national parks are weakly grounded; most of the land burned has been for harvested forest/productions. Nor have these fires obeyed arbitrary lines on maps. We do need a Royal Commission into our fires. We clearly need [better] leadership from our governments and Science on all this needs to be funded. We need the best Science and a renewed national effort.
Australian politicians to avoid: Should these do-nothings be booted out soon by voters so that we can install people who will actually do something? People who use pointless and old-fashioned labels such as the Right or Left in politics, as this is bigger than both, and both are as old as the French Revolution (1789), while all this is relatively new, historically speaking. Barnaby Joyce (Why on earth can't he say anything clearly? BTW this webpage lives in top-line climate change denier Joyce's electorate but luckily we've never met him.) The present head of the Australian National Party Michael McCormack, but watch this space as things might change. Craig Kelly MP (as above, mauled in UK for being a timewaster as well as a top-line climate change denier). Malcolm Roberts (a professional climate-change-sceptic who laughingly asks for evidence and then blithely ignores it in public, amusingly mauled in 2019 on ABC QandA TV by UK physicist Prof. Brian Cox). Pauline ("Has she ever read a good book in her life?") Hanson (as she encourages Malcolm Roberts). Cory Bernadi (Conservative but now luckily retired from politics?). BTW, just where are these people now, while the fires are burning? Hmm? Being ignored by "the media" which is admittedly a bit busy reporting these fires? -Ed)
Crikey.com on 14.1-2020 says top-line climate-change denier Pauline Hanson wants climate change left out of royal commission into bushfires and says definitively, "I think it's a load of BS." But what does she know, what is her education, really?
crikey.com amuses with 14-1-2020 headline "can you teach an old dog rewnewable tricks?" and writes with fake breathlessness: ScoMo is going to inspect technologies re carbon capture and storage, lithium productions, biofuels and waste-to-energy.
14-1-2020: Fossil fuel companies and climate denialists have pumped at least $57 million into the Australian political system 1999-2019. A 20-year period. Bernard Keane, crikey.com. CNN in USA reports that NSW has 3000 homes lost or damaged. Fires are in every Australian state but NSW is hardest hit and NSW has 2000 volunteer firefighters. In NSW, 24 arsonists have been charged and 183 people are "noticed: by police in fire contexts since November 2019. NSW has lost 1/3rd of its koalas.
15-1-2020 : A sleeping giant is now awake? Crikey.com today compares Australia's reaction to its bush fires as a wake up call comparable to the USA after Peal Harbour in late 1941.
15-1-2020: James Murdoch and his wife Kathryn accuses his family's media empire of climate denialism. So The Australian's coverage of "climate" matters is now an issue.
15-1-2020: Australian Federal Govt meets with top scientists and fire experts re science-and-technology and - what to do next? Federal Minister for Science Karen Andrews is reportedly fed up with "climate deniers".
16-1-2020: Childcare centres want guidelines on when to send children home during bushfires: crikey.com. There has in the past day been good rain in some firezone areas of Vic and NSW.
16-1-2020: fireys are still waiting for "thousands" of respiratory masks to help protect their health. crikey.com.
John Hewson: should bushfire work now be part of Australian Defence Forces responsibilities? SMH, 16-1-2020. ABC TV says fears rise of a growing fodder shortage for farm animals. Afternoon TV reports problems re electronics in some areas re burned-out mobile phone towers, electricity power being intermittent or absent, ordinary phone re ADSL and Internet too.
TV news about sunset makes it seem as though Australia has become a hot spot (pun intended) for discussion of the world climate debate. Will this possibility bear watching? On ABC TV 7.30 Report, satirist Mark Humphries takes on the coverage of "climate issues" in The Australian newsaper, incredulous re news that James Murdoch has damned his father's attitude to the topic.
17-1-2020: Welcome rain falls on some firegrounds/drought-stricken areas in South/east Australia including Tamworth and this compiler's residence, Armidale. But the bottom has fallen out of the s/e Australian tourism market.
17-1-2020: Naturalist Sir David Attenborough on ABC TV, viewed by climate denialists long-term as a troublemaker, feels that while south-east Australia burns, climate change has reached its "moment of crisis". Attenborough says he has been talking about climate change since 2000 if not before. This is an international crisis, better understood by younger than older people, an urgent problem that needs solving.
Australia from before mid-January is being assisted by PNG, Fiji, USA and Canada.
17-1-2020: Leader of the Australian Labor Party Anthony Albanese says welfare and donations payments are not flowing fast enough. If so, (says this webpage) this represents a complete failure of good government in Australia. End of story.
18-1-2020: The lesson to be learned from today's weekend newspapers is perhaps that Australians are easily mired - too easily mired? - in domestic politics and are unable to adopt a global view - to the detriment of debate on global changes in climate. What a complete waste of a disastrous 2019-2020 bushfire season! This website notes that it expressed disappointment in 2009-2010 at world outcomes re eg., the climate talks in Copenhagen, and with dismal world reaction to climate change issues in general, and in Australia, little it seems has changed. But we proceed, first to the post-bushfire disaster - eastern Australia has rain, that is, a respite from fire hazards - of The Weekend Australian newspaper. Where discussion of the Indian Ocean Dipole - the likely author of our drought in Australia - is confined to letters-to-editor, and is not a preoccupation of the columnists employed by Rupert Murdoch. Where do we begin with this debacle? Firstly, climate change is real, with us, and the science of it is "in". Climate change is also global, and the metaphor of the butterfly that flaps its wings in the Amazon and causes a hirricane that rips New York apart is not entirely wrong. Which seems to be a point entirely lost on the columnists employed by Mr. Murdoch, so that they overlook the Indian Ocean Dipole and its effect also on the Asian Monsoon, a weather pattern that stretches from China west to Africa. Shitfights amongst Australian politicians about how to fight bushfires seem to be more on the mind of The Weekend Australian. Conclusion: Mr Murdoch simply doesn't understand the issues, his son James is probably right about his father's media empire being a climate denialist. But amusingly, Chris Kenny, an associate editor at The Australian, who boned-up on fire-fighting methods as long ago as 1983, seems to have a mentality about the issues that could best be described as "damned if you do and damned if you don't", a dilemma which moves him to try to have it both ways. Instead of pointing out climate change is global, Mr Kenny confines hisself to land lanagement plans. (That's right, look only at what's right in front of you!) Kenny writes of impossdible contradictions (science-based reality vs climate hysteria), what has always been part of the Australian lanscape (flood, bushfire, drought), and in short, Mr Kenny denies global warming and wants to see a "normal bushfire" with maybe some added fuel load, nothing due to global warming or a warmer Australia. Mr Kenny feels that the old panaceas will do; preventing ignition (how do you prevent lightning strikes, would you have to be God?), reducing fuel loads, creating fire breaks, planning safe distances between bushland and housing (useless with such long-fronted ember attacks), fire-safe homes (costs money), better firefighting co-ordination and infrastrucuture (costs money) ... in short, more of the same. Kenny complains of the effect of fake news, says we have had worse fires before, and complains his queries to the NSW RFS have gone unanswered (don't talk to idiots). He blames talk of "climate denial" on a febrile media/political situation. He wants more personal responsiblity, less climate evangelism about our first "social media bushfires". And what he and Rupert Murdoch do NOT see is any effect of Anthropogenic Global Warming, which means that if Australia is warming, so is Europe, Africa, Asia and North and South America (so don't mention the war). Nope. So she be right, and what we need is more-of-the-same. Yup.
We come then to John Carrol's absurdly long article, very anti-Greta Thunberg. Carroll (aged 76) is Prof. Emeritus of Sociology at La Trobe University, and bugger the bushfires, even if La Trobe is near where the Victorian fires were a few years ago. Carroll is against "identity politics", refuses to use the term "Anthropogenic Global Warming, and is VERY against the huge metaphysical void that opens up if we dare to fail to believe in what Carroll believes in. It's all dreadful. But in fact, it's not as dreadful as things will be ifAnthropogenic Global Warming is left unchecked by articles like this. Carroll forgets too, that politics is a numbers game; he and I will die and leave the planet to the younger generations - whom Carroll fails to notice, are complaining, but they will inevitably inherit. "The tyranny of opinion" indeed. Carroll, like Kenny, wants more of the same, not a change.
18-19-1-2020: The weekend Sydney Morning Herald - and it's just great to have this sort of product differentiation with our newspapers, don't you think? The Australian's magazine has barely a word about the fires, but in the SMH's Spectrum magazine section, there he is, large as life, the face of RFS in NSW, an interview with Rural Fire Service Commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons. What could be clearer? And there is Fitzsimmons on the front page, saying things about "the new normal", warning anyone rebuilding after this crisis that things have changed. There is also Pauline Hanson, she of the One Nation Party, citing regional Queenslanders who want to drought-proof Australia instead of hosting the 2032 Bribane Olympics.
In the SMH News Review, Nick O'Malley has written an interesting article on Blackrock, a major US asset management firm operating in Australia and headed by Larry Fink. Fink has had two careers in finance, the first ending in humiliation as he helped the US economy with its disastrous forays into mortgage back securities that led to the 2008 GFC. But Fink's great passion is risk and avoiding its worst effects. After 2008, and being forced out of business, Fink rethought risk and finally decided that the computers and the programs he was using were not up to their tasks of measuring risk. He wanted risk that was better-understood, so he decided decided to consign risk analysis to a new contender, a computer running artificial intelligence programs and called Aladdin. And Fink has been lately convinced that financial risk and climate risk have converged. Yet Blackrock's first duty is not to "climate crusaders" but a fiduciary duty to its clients. Fink is now into sustainability, which means a rational look into climate changes. One result - apart from an enhanced approach to risk analysis, is that Blackrock now talks to clients such as the US Government, and in Australia, Telstra, Westpac Bank, Rio Tinto. And Fink finds that while global capital is withdrawing support for coal, the Australian government is not. A Fink-supporter in Australia says, "On a 30 year time frame, most carbon internsive industries will be stupid investments." O'Malley meantime rather hopes that Microsoft will follow Blackrock's lead. And so, enough about good and bad investments. It does seem from this discussion of risk analysis that the Australian government has been and is backing the wrong horse. And this webpage wishes once again, that someone would publish what the coal-mining industry is worth annually to the Australian government - and to state-run electricity provision - so the matter can be discussed further - rationally.
Rob Harris notes that "Pictures of Scott Morrison, then treasurer, holding a lump of coal in February 2017 have often accompanied footage of razed towns and charred rainforests". Now it's happened for real. Poor Scomo. But the SMH manages now to jump the shark from bushfire reportage to speculation about emissions, without telling us what coal mining is or has been worth per year to Australia, (something everyone should know) and warning us that the right in Liberal/Nat politics still won't let ScoMo or anybody else get on with climate sanity. Prof. of Ecology at Charles Sturt University, David Watson, wants us to realise just how, when scientists realise they are wrong they change their ways; that evidence-based thinking shoud see denialism not only step aside but dismantle the systematic disinformation campaign that it has waged. Would that it could be so.
In the SMH Business section, Ross Gittins writes, "Revolt against failed policies making economists rethink". Other writers ponder, "Corporations vulnerable to climate backlash." About a climate action plan, a subheading is "Businesses are innovating to reduce their environmental impact as concern mounts about the effects of climate change".
And so we see why the climate denialists have been so successful as media hacks, as tricksters of rhetorical tactics and/or as fake newsters. They have taken the "global" out of global warming and replaced it with a "climate change" that might be regional at worst, it certainly isn't global, as The Weekend Australian's coverage isn't global. This "climate change" might also be natural, due to sunspot activity or some natural cycle. Bury it all in national politics as often as you can, as much as you can, but never admit it is a global problem, is the watchword of "the climate change lobby", the denialists about the global business of global warming. But if there is one sector that will put a stop to this denialist nonsense, it is the military with their worries about the effect of global warming as a threat-to-nations that may become military. Remember, there are about 195 countries in the world (according to the UN); that's potentially a lot of enemies - when the water wars start, for example.
It's going to be interesting. Australia is an island continent currently run by politicians who are incompetent to run it, yet it is as former PM Malcolm Turnbull says, a very successful multicultural nation (population: 25,365,627) with people from 54 or more countries. What price, globalism? What price, Australian elite incompetence? So be afraid, be very very afraid. This summer and this fire season are still not finished.
Weekend Australian, 18-19 Jan., 2020: Continues with the theme of "she-be-right-mate". There is a teaser on the front page re rain falling, green shoots appearing, farmers rejoicing. New Life, and so soon after disastrous bushfires. Praise the Lord and pass the toast, indeed! Plus photographs of this new life. Our Australian here blathers (p.2) re Peter Holmes a Court in Davos, Switzerland, that Australia now has the world's attention, it's up to us! Really! Australia has the world's attention just now, for burning right before its eyes! Is this brilliant reporting from where the world's wealthy gather, or is it just brilliant reporting? Or p. 5, "Industry hopes bushfires won't bust our tourism boom." Or pp. 6-7, with photographs of green shoots, a double-page spread with a break-out on "the big wet" amid news of bushfres, and how NSW (alone) has 170 schools that need fixing due to the bushfires.
Doncha just love those green shoots? Like shoots of hope, aren't they? So very reassuring? Almost biblical, no?
18-1-2020; BBC Headlines: Storms lash some of Australia's fire-hit regions - threats of floods in some areas. [South-east Queensland, ABC TV calls them 1-in-100-year floods. In Toowoomba, Gold Coast (up to 250-300ml), Brisbane, and n/e NSW.] [Gee, bushfires followed by floods in southern Queensland? Let's see Rupert Murdoch talk his way out of this one! Must make note to self: buy The Australian next Monday. - Ed]
19-1-2020: Evening TV news: Satellite imagery has revealed that Australia has lost about 6 million hectares of wildlife habitat and that about 250 species or more are now endangered. But Australia anyway before this had the world's worst record for species extinction.
Threats of excess rain/flash flooding in southern NSW and all of Victoria.
20-1-2020: TV News: Australian weather has gone rather strange. Is the drought broken or not? Hail storm in Canberrra from 1pm with huge set of insurance claims, often for damaged motor vehicles. (Is God obviously displeased with ScoMo from Marketing? Should Scomo go look for a live volcano so he can sacrifice some goats?) Hail storms in Melbourne, Vic. Storms in Brisbane, and south-east Queensland, eg Gold Coast drenched. Stanthorpe benefits but more is needed. Brisbane is expecting a heat wave. Dust storms plus rain (=mud) travels, at Broken Hill, Nyngan, Parkes, Dubbo and maybe Tamworth. ScoMo from Marketing says fire-victim businesses to get low-interest loans of up to half a million dollars for recovery, or outright grants. Tourism business to be supported. The "climate split" widens not just in Cabinet but in the Federal and NSW Liberal parties and ScoMo from Marketing says the activists do not know what's going on. This website bets that the activists do know what's going on, c'est la vie. Platypus (a difficult species anyway to work on) is reportedly in serious decline. Are these bush fires also a wake-up call for Australian governments re environment-in-general. Meteorologist for Channel 10, Tim ("Trust me, I'm a weatherman") Bailey says weather in south/east Australia is now "dangerous". NSW government (Energy and Environment Minister responsible Matt Kean (who is currently in the gun with ScoMo from Marketing) prepares to make war on feral animals which are preying on surviving Australian species. "Unprecedented" has become a buzzword in Canberra, says unprecedently astute Australian journalist Laura ("More power to her pen") Tingle on 7.30 Report.(But is it true or not that she is the daughter of the founder of the Hunters' and Shooters' Party, John Tingle? Hint: it's on wikipedia.)
SMH 20-1-2020: Is the Australian environment now the "canary in the mine shaft" for world weather watchers? Does a front page story concerned about computerised surveillance (facial recognition sofware) read quite oddly when so many fire victims are wanting quick help? Sydney rain fills empty ponds. Platypus facing threat of extinction. Letters-to-editor indicate that there have been 57 public inquiries/royal commissions / reviews into bushfires or bushfire management in Australian political life since 1939. In 2014 the Australian Government issued a 28-page National Bushfire Management Policy statement for forests and rangelands. (From Clive Williams, Forrest, ACT.) And so, what avails Australia? Hugh Barrett right under Williams notes that NASA has noted a 0.98 degrees C rise in Planet Earth's global suraface temperature for 2019, above the 1951-1980 mean. Barrett wonders how we shall go if we reach the 1.5-2 degrees C rise over pre-industrial (1760) levels? Columnist Sean Kelly (a Labor political adviser) feels that voters should not let politicians off the bushfire hooks. Peter Marshall (national secretary of United Firefights Union of Australia) feels that the last thing we need is another bushfire inquiry as it woudl merely tell us what we already know. He finds that the findings of Royal Commissions are non-binding. And so it sounds to this webpage as if governments in Australia need to wean themslves from monies which are attached to not-acting on what bushfire-related inquries do discover.
The Australian, 20-1-2020 worries that bushfire-victim homeowners will face extra expense if rebuilding as regulations have changed/been tightened. Has no mention at all of the views of James Murdoch on climate change or James' views on the views of his own father! Which is very strange behaviour for an international news operation. Perhaps in Australia at least it should now call itself, Propaganda Corp (?). But a lot of things are now disconnected in Australia. Politicians for example are now disconnected from the people and imagine they are governing a country that isn't in fact Australia, imagine that? Instead, and how lucky is this for the unquestioning Australian media, they are governing a country that is totally immune from any of the effects of "climate change". (Except, perhaps, for bushfires.) Go figure.
21-1-2020: Rain predicted for Central Queensland.<
22-1-2020: The Australian: PM: cut fire fuel, not just emissions.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: You know, how many more lives and homes have to be lost before the climate change deniers acknowledge they are wrong? Per BBC News, 22 January, 2020.
22-1-2020: ScoMo from Marketing has called for a national standard for hazard reduction, reports The Australian — and in turn, openly downplayed the need for emissions reduction. However, ecologists told The Sydney Morning Herald that decades of underspending on research weakens the government’s assessment abilities, let alone recovery plans - crikey.com. Evening TV news: it is as though nature, or Mother Earth, is using bush fire threats to convince climate denialists they are dead wrong, is targeting them. What will it do to the USA, to Trump? News arises of a new fire threat near Canberra airport. News arises of well-known charities choosing to NOT pay-out to bushfire victims: it seems The Great Disconnect in Australian Life now seems to reach our charities and leaves bushfire victims in the lurch?
23-1-2020: Sydney climate scientist Prof. Andy Pitman (crikey.com today) has hit back at Tony Abbott (a former Australian PM who has lost his seat and in effect speaks for nobody but himself), for misrepresenting him (Pitman) re Australia's recent bushfires emergency. Pitman is director of ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes at University of NSW. But this website feels that Pitman himself could and should be clearer about what he means when he speaks! BTW how many universities are there in the world and how many of their staff are climate denialists? Has anyone ever asked? Dust storm in Tamworth, rain hoped for. Coulson (Canada/USA) airtanker crashes in Snowy River area, three killed. Fires at Quenabeyan, Adaminiby; grass fires in Sydney. Scott Morrison's father dies aged 84.
24-1-2020: Australia is now seen by officialdom as being more vulnerable to more intense bushfires. For one thing, about 5000 electricity distribution poles are downed, producing predictions that electrcity prices will rise and more blackouts will occur. Fires reappear south of Bateman's Bay on far south coast of NSW, while heat has been 40 degrees C. TV evening news indicates that eastern Australia's population of 3-4 million koalas has been reduced to a mere 300,000. Insurers (the report arises for Sydney/NSW only) are rethinking situations as their budgets for extreme weather events are being exceeded - and their share prices are reacting. Internationally, and amid despair, the managers of the world's Doomsday Clock, begun in 1947, have moved the clock forward. Meaning, you are now warned that humanity has less time than it thought for survival, let alone growth.
25-1-2020: Evening TV news: Cost of repair of general infrastructure? Will it be years before some damage is repaired? What do economists think? So far there is about $500 million of hail damage in NSW, ACT and Vic. So far the total damage bill is estimated at AUD$2.3 billion. The Monsoon Trough is delivering rain into northern Queensland. Oops, how much carbon dioxide have these Australian bushfires delivered into the world's atmosphere, did you say? Should we now be talking about things rather differently? (eg, see in Switzerland, Davos protest placards, "World Economic Failure"). East Africa has locust plagues not seen for 25 years; food security is threatened and UN is concerned. Australia Day Awards on ABC TV: Prof Tim Flannery tells us that, environmentally, Australia is now in "a danger zone".
26-1-2020: The Weekend Australian, 25-26 January, 2020: News section: The Australian turns the bushfires scenario into a war and so honours "heroes" - the firefighters - in ways reminiscent of the hero worship of New Yorks's firefighters in 9/11. Via National Party opinions, push to speed up gas reserve plan. NSW RFS will establish a fund to distribute incoming charity monies, largely by way of handling requests for new equipments. SA government is to look into native vegetation and land clearing laws re "hazard reduction".
Enquirer secton, Chris Kenny is worried about Australian alarmism about bushfires and social media upping the ante. Worse, Weekend Australian wants to hijack some rhetoric fropm the USA re Australia as "a grateful nation".
Finance Pages has a story by Cliona O'Dowd on Australia's insurance problems, ironically only days after multiple bushfires have broken out. As at Jan. 25, insurers stand ready to pay out about $2 billion for hail, fires, storms and floods. And much depends on insurance companies' estimates on disaster budgets. While various columnists on Europe seem mesmerised by the spectre of - negative interest rates.
SMH 25-26 January, 2020: Front page: $2 billion damage bill (insurance bill) for a summer of disaster. Sydney's air quality is poor/has been poor. Fire and hail dent living standards, tourism operators are suffering. Australia's bushfires are tipped to deliver about 350 million tonnes of emissions, or about two -thirds of the country's allocation of emissions. Australian-of-the-Year promotion is linked to climate change action. Ross Gittins quotes Quiggin (an economist in Queensland) who quotes British economist Lord Nicholas Stern who feels that climate change is "the biggest market failure in history". Gittins is yet another Australian observer who thinks ScoMo is a dead loss. The SMH Good Weekend section feels that (Australia burns) this is the summer that changed Australia. Questions and their answers will not be simple. The peak bushfire research authority in Australia is in East Melbourne at Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (CRC0). This body seeks to communicate internatioannly, bearing in mind that California, Canada, Alaska, Greece and Brazil have all recently seen over-active fires. We need above all some new ways of thinking - which is not as easy as it sounds and is over-and-above the easy finding/blaming of scapegoats.
27-1-2020: Evening TV News: Vic government puts $63 million to bushfire victims. SMH today: Federal takeover of NSW rivers (the Murray-Darling complex) looms. Lift is needed in plastics recycling area. Forestry industry eyes off bushfire-hit national parks. Southern NSW has increased fire danger from winds and heat. Local workers to be given priority in fire clean-ups. Underemployment/wages stagnation are national problems. Locust "super-swarms" hit African farmers. South-east Brazil has rain, floods and mudslides. Columnist Tony Walker a VC Fellow at La Trobe University is sure that ScoMo by now is "damaged goods", politically and that Australia has been missing in-action on climate matters.
28-1-2020: INQ/Crikey.com: Presenting "The Collapsing Coast". Presenting an inquiry into coastal risks for Australia: Eroding beaches. WA has 55 hotspots which will give trouble inside 25 years. Some of Vic's famed Great Ocean Road might be washed away inside five years. In trouble are Inverloch outside Melbourne Vic, McEwen's Beach on Nn Qld and Mackay in general, West Beach SA, Stockton in Newcastle NSW. Two Rocks about 60km south of Perth in WA. Shell Harbour in Sydney. There is other "trouble" in SA, Qld, Tas and NT. Poor planning decisions of the past will have to be reconsidered. Especially in NSW, drought means rivers to the coast lose flow and dump less sediment, readjusting marine balances. About 85% of Australia's population lives within 50km of a now-troubled coastline. Some 80% of NSW and 62% of Queensland are now at some risk. The first local government area in Australia to declare a climate emergency has been Noosa Shire Council in Qld. INQ reports that NO insurance company in Australia will offer cover for cases of sea-level rise. Suggested for action re sea-level-type problems includfing erosion are five points: (1) useful action re climate change (2) better planning (3) national strategy (4) care with man-made structures (to avoid mere short-termism)(5) use of sand barriers.
28-1-2020: From crikey.com: Bushfires and cost of council elections to local government sector. Australia is warned it must expand plastic recycling by up to 400%. At Orange NSW, ScoMo will attend the first 2020 official meeting of drought and flood advisory board. (Expect nothing useful from this , is this webpage's view! Instead, ask the all-important questions: should he wear a tie or not? Will he wear a tie or not?).
28-1-2020: Evening TV news: Recent flood damage inspected in north of Hunter Valley NSW. But why is Australian news media not telling us of a return of La Nina (across the Pacific Ocean, or not)? for Australia? Actually, www.abc.net.au on 28-1-2020 reports that BOM has now released their assessment that a weak La Nina returns; this presumably is the source of the floods now following our bushfires. Meantime, heatwaves predicted for NSW/ ACT for Fri-Sun. Floods for Nn Queensland? Canberra fire threats, fire is creating its own weather system. (ScoMo better find another live volcano and sacrifice more animals soon, eek!)
29-1-2020: crikey.com says that drought confusion is being criticised by rural mayors. ScoMo delivers National Press Club address in Canberra - quite a business-as-usual rundownm, nothing that is new, and no mentioon of coastal scenarios or sea-level rises.
30-1-2020: NSW government to hold independent inquiry into 2020 bushfire season. Australian timber industry hard hit by bushfires.
30-1-2020: An RAAF base at Pearce north of Perth WA is assailed by fire. Perth meantime opens a new bushfire training and research facility.
31-1-2020: crikey.com: Bushfire survivors join claim against ANZ for financing climate crisis.
30-1-2020: crikey.com - PM's bushfire responses MUST include climate change [matters] - experts say. crikey.com. Bushfires have burned (illegal) cannabis crops so expect via druggies a spike in sales of meth sales nationwide. Estimates are that in economic terms, the cannabis market in Australia is worth about twice the worth of the wine industry. Mystifed email from Texas USA ... What's up? Your bushfires have disappeared from US media except for case of US firefighters who died in a plane crash. (?)
31-1-2020: Midday TV news: Canberra/ACT faces state of emergency as fire threats today and for the weekend are not seen in ACT since 2003 (four deaths and up to 500 homes lost). In short, ferocious. But on 10-3-2020 on ABC TV's 7.30 Report, NSW RFS chief Shane Fitzsimons says that "our equipment has never been better ..."
Stop laughing now. How dare you! This is serious! Politics is a numbers game so vote these turkeys out now! Protest to your local MP now about drivel being published about climate change and if they themselves utter drivel it's simple; vote them out and deprive them of an income. If your local print news or TV outlet utters drivel about climate change and/or its short or long-term medical ill-effects, likewise. Fail to buy them or turn them off. Write many letters-to-editor. Above all, vote wisely.
Getcha climate change sausages here ...
Credit: Photo by Anon.
But if you really must have some jokes after all this climate-dismalness, try this list on for size. It was compiled by 5 Jan. 2019.
(1) Has ScoMo blotted his copybook for eternity or is that just for the next 1000 years? Should he have worn a tie or not?
(2) Is it true that the B. Joyce voters of Armidale are eg wanting to blame greenies and arsonists for all this?
(3) Is it true that this is the end of climate denialism in Australia? No more of Abbott, ScoMo, Malcolm Roberts, Pauline Hanson and B. Joyce! But what about Josh (Kiss The Surplus Goodbye Now) Frydenberg and Angus (I did not do it, trooly rooly) Taylor? In particular, what about Pauline ("Please explain") Hanson? Should we explain to her or not? How would she go if she actually applied to an Australian university to do a course in Climatology?
(4) Will Australia now move from being a recalcitrant about Anthropogenic Global Warming to being a leading-edge-kinda-guy about what to do next for the best in a world's-best-practice sorta way? Or not?
(5) In answer to my mate who asks, what's an army for, anyway, (and try the same question re a navy), and to those who say, "But our army isn't trained to fight bushfires", can we now more fairly ask, why not? (See John Hewson's view above.)
(6) Should all pollies who took hols this holidays and went out of the country (inc ScoMo) be fired forthwith, as insensitive idiots, or not, and if not, why not? (6a) Happy Holidays, is it a US import or not?
(7) Should we worry about the Reality TV people dying of embarrasment now that so many of the Australian population (remember, summer is not finished yet), have been through such actual bushfire reality? Or should we just try to get on with the rest of our lives? You choose!
(8) If Bette Midler's view about ScoMo from Marketing here is not printable in most news outlets written for a family market, should we worry about this or not?
(9) Will Rupert Murdoch now pls change his tune about climate denialism due to at least one avalanche of cognitive dissonance here, or not? What are the bookmakers saying here?
(10) What does the insurance industry of Australia think about any of this? One of our mates says he knows a bloke who is one of only six actuaries in all Australia, of his particular kind of actuary ... So his take on things might be indispensable?
(11) What was ScoMo from Marketing up to in Hawaii anyway over Christmas? Has anyone in the Australian media even asked about this?
Item of 28 December, 2019: Our Prime Minister stuck there in the Canberra bubble, Scott Morrison. Does he have a lot to learn about Australia? Or does he still have a lot to learn about Australia?
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