[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] [The last page of this entire series] File 22 - On climate change issues and the foreseeable future, and on world politics! ]

Merchants logo gif - 9347 BytesThis webpage updated 19 January 2020 - (This is the last page of this series)

Merchants and Bankers - 2020 - and the Australian bushfires

(For overseas more than for Australian consumption.) Climate change is global, but Australian newspapers are mostly mired in outrage about domestic politics than about global slowness in doing anything useful. We were a few days ago in January 2020 at Day 79 of Australia's Bushfires Emergency. Breakdowns: As example, at Conjola Park, south of Sydney, 89 homes and three lives were lost. The total death toll is now about 28, the number of homes/houses destroyed is 2200; the number of animals killed is about a billion, but this figure is not broken down for wildlife vs domesticated animals. Animal stock losses are - more to come. About more to come farms have been - put out of action.
Fire tolls, other: Fauna (mammals, reptiles, birds) = 1 billion estimated. No specific figures on likely species extinction as too early. Nil figures on feral cats, dogs, pigs, horses. Tolls on animal stocks: Horses, more to come. Cattle, more to come. Sheep, more to come. Goats, more to come. Note that these Australian fires have been growing since September 2019. The Dec.-Jan. spate of Australian fires got worse from mid-November 2019.

Australian PM Morrison was told of the risks long ago and did nothing. Fire experts have found it hard to get near him.

Bushfire Nowra New Year 2019Picture 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.

While Australia burns ... this webpage asks among other things: But what would Pauline Hanson actually know about climate change? She used to run a fish-n-chips shop in Southern Queensland and she is a very ignorant woman indeed - so are her followers ignorant.
What would Craig Kelly actually know? He used to be a furniture salesman.
What would Peter Dutton actually know, he used to be a mere policeman in Queensland.
What would ScoMo actually know? He used to be an advertising man.
What would 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 they employ? 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 hoax? Or is it that they simply do not know either?

Incompetent - artist unknown

What the Australian charities are saying by 8 Jan. ...

Give cash now. Donations other than cash (eg, toys, food) are distracting already-stretched staff from other, more important tasks.

The USA has its Ground Zero. Australia now has its "fireground". Go figure. (Hopefully any errors/omissions here will be corrected by the next upload.)

The next problem with climate change (or is that Anthropogenic Global Warming?) is not that it exists as it does (The Science is, as they say, in). The problem (and Greta Thunberg merely points to it) is that no one in the world (collectively or in government) quite knows what to do about it! No one even knows how to name it properly!
The climate-change deniers (as they are called) and religious rightists, who seem to have captured the world's governments, however vocal, are merely a collection of timewasting die-hards - ignorant people who are in fact running scared, they know they no longer have anywhere to run, nowhere to hide.
But "Thinking global but acting local" simply isn't cutting anywhere near enough mustard anymore. Other slogans are not working either, or if they are working, are working too slowly. Planting more trees is not the whole of the answer, nor are other forms of carbon sequestration, whether accepted by governments or not. This webpage hopes to help address these problems. And if you don't agree, oh well, we'll just assume you've gone back to reading The Australian newspaper - with its pointlessly overlong articles. So good luck with that! -Ed

There are other problems to inspect, too. Australia's regulatory frameworks badly need attention; they have been eroded since the time of the Howard Goverment (on clean water provision, worker's compensation, superannuation, environmental integrity, electricity provision and pricing, food safety, national animal protection systems/wildlife protection against extinction, wages erosions, clean air, waste handling, on timber usage [including questions of reducing fuel loads/managing national parks] ...) and political fantasies about "budget surpluses", and ScoMo's government has inherited this entire sordid mess. The Australian Constitution may also need looking-at for any needed rejig of Federal vs State responsibilities.
It is not just with "climate" that ScoMo fails in leadership ... many of our Laws in a binary age are still pre-binary, pre-digital, and badly need updating - and to be kept updated, suitably binary, suitably digital. And technology rules, ok. It so happens that when TV arrived in Australia from 1956, non-photogenic politicians (such as Arthur Calwell, he who said "Two Wongs don't make a white") were slowly sidelined in preference for more camera-friendly individuals. Now, something similar has happened with the Internet, except that the pre-Internet politicians still don't get it ... But is this why our laws are still so pre-digital in outlook? Do you as a voter need to think about such issues? Do we as voters want to risk ScoMo or his ilk managing the Australian future? This website thinks not.

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!

Ask your climate-change denying friends ...

The editor recommends - that all readers here ask their climate-change-denying friends 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 knwo it - you are a nonce engaging in pretence. (Second trick question: what is the normal ocean level since the last Ice Age, say 12,000 years ago?)

The science that is in - or do you prefer songs that tell you it is all right, lullabies of reassurance as children are addicted to?

"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. 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 includiong 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 care, 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 climate changers and 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 as much as 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.)

We proceed ...

"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 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 are small packages of methane often preserved in tundra by ice, or found on the sea floor in Antartic regions. If these clathrates melt, we are in serious trouble as their methane will speed up climate change/heat transfers, and it seems that in Russia and Canada, tundra is melting. Canadia also has many lakes. What happens if they warm too much?
Carbon dioxide - CO2 - which is up since the Industral 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 is the ultimate product of human-induced (Anthropogenic) climate change. 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.

See Climate Change Council in Australia.

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 glaciers?

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 ...

How to go over the top in one easy lesson!

Polish Archbishop blasts Greta Thunberg as Antichrist


By: Novena. On 27 December, 2019 9:00pm
A Polish archbishop has blasted Swedish anti-climate change icon Greta Thunberg as nothing short of the Antichrist for her defence of the environment.
In an interview with TV Republika on Christmas Eve, the controversial Archbishop of Krakow, Marek Jedraszewski, launched an extraordinary spray at the “very dangerous phenomenon” of “ecologism”. He said that “phenomenon” is “contrary to everything that is written in the Bible” – which instructs humankind to “subdue the earth” for its own needs – and signals a “return to Engels”.
But Jedraszewski saved some of his harshest criticisms for young anti-climate change campaigner Thunberg, whom the archbishop said “is becoming an oracle for all political and social forces” trying to “break with the entire Christian tradition”.
The Krakow archbishop dismissed “teenage activist” Thunberg and the hundreds of thousands of young people around the globe joining her in taking care for environment into their own hands as part of “various” sinister “new movements” turning the world upside down.
“Everything is suddenly being questioned; in fact, our culture is being questioned; the whole world order is being reversed, starting from the fact that the existence of God, the creator, is being questioned; the role and dignity of every human is being questioned”, Jedraszewski complained of Greta and her movement. “I’ll put it briefly: [this is] a return to Engels and his claims that marriage is another manifestation of oppression, and that in the name of equality one must break with the entire Christian tradition”, the archbishop continued.
Those are some of the “political and social forces” that Jedraszewski sees Thunberg as opening a door to.

Go deeper

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”.

Why it matters - and is this man the Israel Foleau of Poland?

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 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) :::::::::::::::::::

We think, if you want to know what's really going on, for pity's sake, don't ask ScoMo! Ask someone who actually knows! Ask Mr Fiji. Ask Mr Vanuatu. Asking many of our politicians in Australia is about as much use as asking a penguin from Antarctica!

Craig Kelly interview: senior Australian government MPs distance themselves after Piers Morgan lashing

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 The Guardian, 7 Jan. 2020. BTW, the Ed asks: what does Tony Abbott now think, as he's a firey ... Has he been a bit busy, do you think? Should we keep a Watch and Act on him?

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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."

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Stats and other useful things, lists of issues and so on

And do you think Sco Mo is doing well with managing any of this? But who do you tell?

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. Like Barnaby Joyce. Like Tony Abbott (He's a firey, why isn't the media ambulance-chasing his unit for his and his firemates' opinions?)

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.)

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 said 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.) From film actors Nicole Kidman (plus musician husband Keith Urban), Chris Hemsworth, Joel Edgerton. Tribute to fireys from actress Cate Blanchett. From Australian comedian Celeste Barber, AUD$47 millions, extraordinary! (But see a sad story on 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 musician Sir Elton John. 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.

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".)

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) but the story (and all p6) 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 "climate change". (This webpage thinks so.)


Elsewhere on p.6 Weekend Australian has items on a student-driven climate protest in Victoria on 10 Jan. (damned by Victorian premier Daniel Andrews, the students wanted more action on climate change, more funding for firefighters. the sacking of Scott Morrison and similar in Sydney); a nationally-oriented Royal Commission or other inquiry into the fires and the fires of the NSW South Coast.
Sydney Morning Herald 11-12 Jan., 2020: Jessica Irvine says, "Caution required when gauging economic impact of bushfires" [Under particular, more long-term conditions, a disaster may actually add to a national economy]. On 10-1-2020 A call from the MP for Indi, for a genuinely national climate adaptation plan. In an article in SMH News Review 11-12-2020, Dr Lauren Rickards (co-leader of Climate Change Transformations research program in RMIT University's Centre for Urban Research) and Mark Howden (Prof. and director of Climate Change Institute for Australian National University), argue that (1) some climate change is well-illustrated by winegrowers moving to Tasmania; (2) there is a National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Framework (2015) but it is limited by a view of adaptation that does not cope adequately with the pace/extent of change and it suffers from the fact it has not been implemented. There has been a shrinkage not growth in our awarenesses of the links between climate and human well-being. (Heat affects our bodies plus infrastructure plus equipments. Climate affects industries and supply chains. Electricity now powers payments systems in ways it once did not.) And there are future vulnerabilities to come. Also, there is maladaptation, adapting too slowly, in the wrong direction(s), or in a narrow-minded way. By these standards, the current situation in Australia is maladaptive.
Feed necessary for starving stock animals. Food prices will rise as agriculture is in trouble. On 9-1-202: Katherine River is NT risks becoming stagnant and will probably in future experience a major fish kill. On 9-1-202, emergency areas on Kangaroos Island have just been doubled. Are ambulance and ordinary urban fire services now needing new extra funding as they are being called on more often? On likely business downturns (what are stock exchanges in Australia now thinking?). On wind directions. On smoke-haze situation for ashthma sufferers and or older people with heart conditions. On whether politics or charities should be helping us out here? On possible ash-contamination of tank-held water supplies. Plan your travel trips as roads/highways might be out and fuel supplies might be patchy. Warnings re future algal growth in water bodies and water courses. On lightning strikes. On bushfires which are big-enough or intense-enough to generate their own mini-weather patterns. On 11-12 Jan 2020 Weekend Australian warns, "no place to run, nowhere to hide".

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?

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 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: More to come.

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. Expect a huge political uproar later in 2020 from the local government sector once it recovers. 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?

Good ideas

The idea to make lakes of de-commissioned coal mines (based on a model in Germany) in the NSW Hunter Valley seems excellent to this webpage.

Not-so good ideas

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 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 soon said to be applying for greater funding; ABC TV says, "fighting fire with fire".

The electricity grid: More to come here. 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 quote from Plato ...

If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools. - Plato

Headlines in Australian newspapers

From 4-5 January 2020, Weekend Australian: 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. 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 indicatative 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 published yet on the problem?)

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. Plea for more tankers ignored 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: ProMo, a national disaster is not marketing fodder. When power and internet fail, the ABC is our lifeblolod. 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. 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?

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. 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; 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 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). Malcolm Roberts (a professional climate-change-sceptic who laughingly asks for evidence and then blithely ignores it in public, amusingly mauled 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 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 Pauline Hanson wants climate change left out of royal commission into bushfires and says, "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.

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, 14-1-2020, crikey.com.

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 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 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.

18-1-2020: 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?

In the SMH News Review, 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. 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 tyhe 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.

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]

Stop laughing now. This is serious! 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. Many letters-to-editor. Vote wisely.

Jokes

But of you really must have a joke, 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 Goodbye the Surplus Now) Frydenberg and Angus (I did not do it, trooly rooly) Taylor? In particular, what about Pauline (I Wonder who'se kissing her now?) Hanson?
(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?
(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 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? One of my 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?
So many questions. So little time left in which to answer them. Punishing, ain't it?


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