Climate alarmists never miss an opportunity to capitilise on other people’s misery in order to fuel the global warming gravy train. Hurricane Katrina was a prime example, and now the California fires are an opportunity not to be missed. CNN are leading the way with their ‘Planet in Peril’ special that may well try to make a link between the fires and global warming. The rest of the mainstream media aren’t far behind.
Meanwhile, the FBI have shot dead a suspected arsonist and confirmed that a huge fire in the town of Santiago in Orange County that destroyed 10 homes was started on purpose in two different places. Furthermore, Northern Hemisphere Tropical Cyclone Activity is on course to match the record low of 1977. This could at least partly explain the lack of moisture/drought in the US Southwest. Remember, global warming was supposed to increase hurricane intensity and frequency, and in 2005 alarmists were suggesting a new category 6 classification would be needed for hurricanes.
It seems that global warming has become a ubiquitous explanation for every natural weather event. Shame on you!
No not frequency.
Yes, frequency, too.
I’ve stated before that more hurricane frequency has been repeated many times in the U.S. press, and that has convinced a large majority of people to believe it, with no public retractions by those scientists who originally suggested such.
Al Gore, after much research with scientists and having his film reviewed by scientists, said that hurricanes would be become more frequent and severe, and he went so far as to say that global warming is causing more tornados, too!
Yes, you can see global warming alarmists backing off on this early claim because they were proved wrong and it gets embarrassing and hurts their credibility. But, making retractions is no more successful than trying to stuff all the feathers back into a pillow, and the global warming alarmists continue to benefit from such public misconceptions that they laid out.
Hey, what happened to everyone’s picture that used to be in the top banner? What’s a shame about the blog title is that politics and science are ideally not mixed in the same discussion. I wonder what group changed that?
Paul Biggs says
We didn’t like the banner, so we changed it. The blog is ‘work in progress’ at the moment, but it remains a group blog.
Paul Biggs says
Log trees to save forests from fire?
Bush administration, activists at odds over where and how
Sierra Club: Congress Reaches Forest Fire Deal That Fails to Protect Communities
The blog is full of sour grapes not politics, likewise the environment is only what you make it.
This lead “Climate alarmists never miss an opportunity to capitilise on other people’s misery in order to fuel the global warming gravy train” makes any attempt to understand bad bushfires etc impossible here.
However I learned a lot from the Daily Mail photos in the link above. Thanks; that’s the reason I bother to respond.
As I said on the previous thread, we have to respond to arson as a factor in all planning around bushfire suppression in hard times. Who knows why individuals do it but I suggest again we are at grave risk from back burning operations late in the event on a bad day. This wide spread practice has kept me mostly out of the fire fighting culture. Rag tag teams complete with hot heads defending on the edge under some remote instruction after a big blow up have been a bad experience.
Fuel control is a complex business. This should be our focus given the extremes of climate and weather. Late response is deadly. A few take their own fears and emotions as the trigger to act independently. Security must also have a considered pathway.
Paul: On the practical side of the logging debate we now seem to do a lot of salvage operations after big bushfires. Small charred stems are of little use. They are no good for papermaking and are hard to mill for timber. Larger logs can be left standing longer before the wood changes. Some salvage operations require logs to be immersed in artificial lakes. Contaminated water leakage becomes a new environment issue.
Contractors I knew moved trucks and crews interstate in the race against time.
From the most recent local experience, big mills go bust when our pine plantation is radically altered by fire. Log the forests to save them?
Big trees last longer in any situation.
Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director. “There is a better way, but it requires putting the safety of communities ahead of the interests of timber companies.”
As I said “Security must also have a considered pathway”.
San Diego is now issuing building permits left and right without consideration that the homes to be reconstucted are in fire zones and without consideration as to whether they are constructed to resist fires. This makes as much sense as rebuilding homes in New Orleans that are below sea level.
Paul, temperatures in California have risen by around 1.5C. This is a mathematical fact. Higher temperatures mean higher (on average) fire danger. In California there is a very strong relationship between higher temperatures and fire activity (Westerling et al. Science 18 August 2006). To pretend that we can warm the world (and California) without increasing fire activity is wrong.
Paul – “Remember, global warming was supposed to increase hurricane intensity and frequency, and in 2005 alarmists were suggesting a new category 6 classification would be needed for hurricanes.”
You are just displaying your ignorance and lack of research here. ALL the research and scientific papers suggested that average hurricane intensity would increase not frequency. No scientist has said that frequency will increase.
If you are going to post things on this blog please at least make them accurate.
James Mayeau says
well actually Sacramento has been cooler then average this summer. Only five days topped 100 and we even set a record for the lowest high temperature on August 6th (64 degrees).
read the transcript
“Now I’m going to show you, recently released, the actual ocean temperature. Of course when the oceans get warmer, that causes stronger storms. We have seen in the last couple of years, a lot of big hurricanes. Hurricanes Jean, Francis and Ivan were among them. In the same year we had that string of big hurricanes; we also set an all time record for tornadoes in the United States. Japan again didn’t get as much attention in our news media, but they set an all time record for typhoons. The previous record was seven. Here are all ten of the ones they had in 2004. The science textbooks that have to be re-written because they say it is impossible to have a hurricane in the South Atlantic. It was the same year that the first one that ever hit Brazil. The summer of 2005 is one for the books. The first one was Emily that socked into Yucatan. Then Hurricane Dennis came along and it did a lot of damage, including to the oil industry. This is the largest oil platform in the world after Dennis went through. This one was driven into the bridge at Mobile. And then of course came Katrina. It is worth remembering that when it hit Florida it was a Category 1, but it killed a lot of people and caused billions of dollars worth of damage. And then, what happened? Before it hit New Orleans, it went over warmer water. As the water temperature increases, the wind velocity increases and the moisture content increases. And you’ll see Hurricane Katrina form over Florida. And then as it comes into the Gulf over warm water it becomes stronger and stronger and stronger. Look at that Hurricane’s eye. And of course the consequences were so horrendous; there are no words to describe it.
Sirens, background music, Mayor Ray Nagin. The water is up to my neck. I don’t think I’m going to make it.
How in god’s name could that happen here? There had been warnings that hurricanes would get stronger. There were warnings that this hurricane, days before it hit, would breach the levies and cause the kind of damage that it ultimately did cause. And one question that we, as a people, need to decide is how we react when we hear warnings from the leading scientists in the world.”
He says stronger.
My (very limited I admit) understanding of bushfire risk is that high bushfire danger is most closely associated with the chaotic combination of high wind and low humidity taking place after there has already been a dry spell.
Same for arson: arsonists can and will start bushfires, but fire fighters can deal with this routinely. We only get situations like we currently have in california when the weather is just right (or just wrong, rather).
Does AGW potentially impact on fire risk via increased temperatures? Or is it because of regional climate differences that increase the chances of high wind / low humidity combos?
Green Davey Gam Esq. says
Interesting to see that (according to Paul’s referenced media reports) US environmentalists ‘welcome prescribed burns’. Smoky Bear has bit the dust. Perhaps they have been reading history, and talking to the Indian Elders. Great.
We still have, in Australia, dim witted, historically ignorant, Smoky Bear ‘environmentalists’ who oppose prescribed burns. Some of them advise ‘Environment Ministers’, God help us. As Jim and Aled Hoggett said “When will we ever learn?”
Before somebody jumps onto the climate bandwagon, if weather becomes hotter and drier, there is even more need for broadscale prescribed burning, at relatively short intervals (for example 2-4 years in dry eucalypt forests, longer elsewhere).
This prevents fuel build up, and actually benefits the biota by recycling nutrients, germinating seeds, and preventing fire deaths of veteran trees. It prevents formation of uncontrollable, broad fire fronts. It creates a mosaic, so protecting long unburnt refuges for the fire shy biota, hence creating greater diversity. It will sequester carbon as soil charcoal. It will spread smoke emission – lots of little, white, harmless smokes, not occasional big, black, toxic ones. It will make fire bugs redundant, perhaps give them a real job. It will make us terrorist proof, at least from co-ordinated, deliberate bushfire attack. It will show respect to the traditional owners of the land, who are upset at whitefella stupidity with fire. It will help those of non-Aboriginal descent to get rid of their warped cultural ‘ignis nullius’ baggage, and adapt to the Aboriginal view of bushfire as a friend, not an enemy.
Phew! Shut up Davey, you may only be preaching to the converted. The fire exclusion dogmatists are impervious to reason.
Steve temperature has a direct effect on combustion as the fuels are simply hotter. In fire danger indices the relationship is almost exponential, though this might be over doing it. Simple fact is that all other things being equal more hot means more fires. All things aren’t equal, of course, with the subtropics also likely to be drier and sunnier with lower relative humidities which will raise the fire risk even more. This is then not helped by the CO2 feedback which probably means more fuel.
PS Steve almost all of California has been hotter than average this year, as has most of the US (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/2007/sep/01_09_2007_DvTempRank_pg.gif).
And as for Paul
Why do you think it’s called Global Warming?
Why do you think the scientists felt it necessary to raise the issue?
A global rise in temperature will affect everyone, and all ecosystems.
James Mayeau says
Mount Shasta Glaciers Defy Global Warming, Grow –
Summer chill is one for the ages
By Dorothy Korber – Bee Staff Writer
Last Updated 12:41 am PDT Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Story appeared in MAIN NEWS section, Page A10
–Don’t tell Al Gore, but global warming is taking a holiday in Sacramento this week. The maximum temperatures Sunday and Monday set records each day — as the coolest “highs” for the dates since record-keeping began in 1877.
Forecasters credit a deep marine layer and a potent low-pressure trough …
Further to Green Davey Gam Esq. at October 26, 2007 12:09 PM
During my long lost childhood, in the 1940s and when the summer north winds blew, my parents would often talk of Black Friday, January 13 1939 when smoke from the fires in the hills to the east blanketed Melbourne. The day became folklore.
The temperature on that day reached 45.6 ℃.(114.1 ℉). The fires killed 71 people.
As a result of the subsequent Stretton Royal Commission, the CFA was formed in 1945, an extensive pattern of well maintained access tracks was established and controlled burning became an established practice.
I remember during the 50s and early 60s, students would take jobs manning prominent watchtowers during the summer holidays.
This all changed in the 70s as a result of pressure from environmental groups determined to exclude loggers and graziers and return the forests to ‘wilderness’.
In a widely read book of the time,”The Alps At The Crossroads” published by the Victorian National Parks Association Author Dick Johnson wrote “One of the fundamental causes of conflict in the alpine region is its extensive roading network” and “If wildfire was self-regulating once [before white settlement], why is man’s presence through his roads necessary now?’
Following the January 2003 Victorian fires a Government enquiry was set up.
In a submission to the inquiry into the Bogong fires January/February, the Victorian Association of Forest Industries stated “1939 could never happen again – the claim of many during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. But they did happen, and the Bogong fire complex of 2003 burnt an area in excess of 1.3 million hectares, starting from a lightning storm on 8 January and capitulating in late February.”
-fuel management via fuel reduction burns
-easy access via a network of well maintained roads
-rapid and efficient initial attack by firefighters – skill
Melbourne’s water catchments, which are controlled by Melbourne Water, escaped major fire damage. The catchment areas were well protected by: “…inspection and opening of all roads through the catchments, slashing of fuel breaks, employment of 29 summer casual persons and mock fire exercises to test personnel, equipment and response times. A comprehensive system of fences, gates, locks and signage to limit access and hence assist in bushfire prevention…a bushfire detection system including 4 fire spotting towers extensive works programs in the catchments to provide and maintain catchment security, bushfire protection access…”
The Inquiry final report runs to 24 pages of recommendations, replete with bureaucratese:”to consider””data storage””documentation””evaluation””monotoring””review””evidence assembly””public education””strategies””agenda items included””explore options””appropriate planning””bring together stakeholders””establish subcommittee””audit planning”and on and on.
The Victorian Department of Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) is a greenies playpen.
Global warming/climate change has become a convenient alibi for governments to do nothing.
why not consider this.
” A study published last year in the journal Science found that the number of large wildfires (greater than 1,000 acres) in Western forests increased dramatically in the mid-1980s.
The length of the fire season also increased, the study found. It noted that the average length of the fire season between 1987-2003 was 78 days longer than it was between 1970 and 1986.
That’s a 64 percent increase, the study found.
Thomas Swetnam, one of the study’s authors, said that there’s a pretty strong connection between the early arrival of spring and increased wildfire activity.
“Fuel has a longer season to dry out, and the soils have a longer season to dry out so the fire season starts earlier and lasts longer,” Swetnam said.”
If it was just a matter of thinning out fuel, to reduce the intensity of a fire, then the fire season would be just a long, but with less intense fires. Not only are the fires bigger, though, the fire season lasts longer.
“Phew! Shut up Davey, you may only be preaching to the converted” Sure “It (fire) will sequester carbon as soil charcoal. It will spread smoke emission” etc. but I for one want to step back from the concept of mosaic burning by anyone who has not noticed the impact of climate change.
Much of the forest country is now too dry most of the year to hit it with large scale hazard reduction programs in remote areas. Also we don’t have enough experienced bushmen to do it all over on time.
Crisgo mentions “Alps at the Crossroads” by Dick Johnson as a major influence in changing land care in the Victorian high country. Dick the engineer was encourage in late 1972 to look at restoring vegetation as a natural water reservoir above the Murray headwaters. This was seen as an alternative to building major storage downstream. Conservation of snow melts had been on the books for well over a century.
What do we mean by ‘conservation’?
It was from a position of acquired knowledge about the area that Strzelecki reported his concern on the state of the Australian Alps after a trip in the 1830s.
‘The drought … here in New South Wales seems to have an additional cause to … those which elsewhere occasion extraordinary dryness of soil: namely the alteration which colonisation impresses on its surface; the herbaceous, high and thick plants; the continued forest; the underwood; the brush, which so well clothed the crust and sheltered the moisture, have disappeared under the innumerable flocks and axes which the settlers have introduced. The soil, thus bared, was and is, as it were, abandoned by a most prejudicial practice, to the constant and periodic wilful incendiarism, which, instead of producing the expected and former herbage and vigor of the soil, in fact only calcines its surface and eradicates even the principle of reproduction…’ (Enclosed in a despatch from Gipps to the Secretary of State, 28 September 1840, and printed in House of Lords Sessional Papers, 1841(85),
chrisgo also mentions the formation of the CFA after the Black Friday 1939 disaster and the demise of their practice during the 1970’s. It was proved in the Dandenong fires that scattered self funding CFA volunteer units could not integrate with other brigades including urban forces deployed in mass attack (late 60’s, read my post on the other thread) Chaos reigned and units burned while all manner of tankers and buckets tried to refill them. Also one of their chiefs was nabbed for starting that series.
Not all the facts are recorded on the www.
I don’t recall a substantial fire in the Dandenongs in the late 60s (maybe Feb. 1968?). I do recall very devastating Dandenong fires in 1961.
But there is no doubt that the Victorian forests are currently very dry and constitute a great risk.
So isn’t it time stop blaming ‘climate change’, to abandon the policies of the last 40 years and reconstitute a regime of intense supervision and control of our valuable resource?
Peter Lezaich says
“Much of the forest country is now too dry most of the year to hit it with large scale hazard reduction programs in remote areas. Also we don’t have enough experienced bushmen to do it all over on time.”
The first part of your quote is utter rubbish and displays a lack of fire management experience. Indeed it is bordering on the utterings of many state and federal bureaucrats in its absurdity and self serving nature.
The second part of your quote re: a lack of experienced bushmen is in all probability the key to it all. the removal of forests from production management to conservationmanaagement across the country over the past 20 years has indeed resulted in a marked decline in experienced bushmen, be they foresters, or other forestry workers. The loss of local knowledge and in field workers resulting from that transfer of management is higlighted each and every fire season.
SJT, from your own transcript, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Gore keeps mentioning more storms in light of global warming. Yes, he does discuss frequency.
“In the same year we had that string of big hurricanes; we also set an all time record for tornadoes in the United States. Japan again didn’t get as much attention in our news media, but they set an all time record for typhoons. The previous record was seven. Here are all ten of the ones they had in 2004.”
Peter: Re lack of experienced “bushmen”, I had a wider view of the rural industries that have declined in numbers post WW2. For instance telecommunications suffered a downsizing of some 80 -120,000 in the late 80’s, many of them technical types from the regions who regularly tracked through the country. Also there was a great deal of mechanisation in agriculture, local councils and forestry, the traditional source of emergency volunteers.
Crisgo: I won’t have time to research details of CFA losses round the hills in the 60’s. I am quite vague on some details like dates however I did see a note on web re the Dandenong Ranges that claimed most illegal fires were lit on total fire ban days. That fits completely with what we saw then.
I lived and worked east of town for a decade or so from 1964. The fires that forced inquiries blew towards Melbourne from the Basin, Olinda areas and the marshalling centre for the emergency volunteer call up was Boronia. I got through police roadblocks late in the day with a wagon load of hand tools.
How we got to be at the Hobart and Lara bushfire scene hours after those events is a mystery but I took slides of the bush on the Mt Wellington slopes. Back in Victoria, I worked on the MMBW major urban expansion program that fixed water shortages in the hills etc. Infrastructure and communications became the new focus everywhere including Tasmania.
Paul Biggs says
Officials: Boy with matches started fire
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – Officials blamed a wildfire that consumed more than 38,000 acres and destroyed 21 homes last week on a boy playing with matches, and said they would ask a prosecutor to consider the case.
Not much talk about the lack of hurricanes so far for 2009. I heard a blurb on the Weather Channel talking about the deep troughing in the Eastern US that was linked to lack of tropical systems in June 2009, but now that El Nino is in full force, the wind shear is sure to keep the 2009 Hurricane season fairly quiet.
So much for the global warming gloom and doom. Oh and by the way what about global temperatures not showing any significant warming since the turn of the century. In fact except for 1998 when we experienced a very strong El Nino, 1999 and 2000 were cooler and since then global temperatures have shown no significant upward trend. I wonder why this is, but of course the global warming crowd will dismiss this and say that a decade or so of decreasing or stable temperatures is not significant and they chalk it up to natural cycles.
Funny how they have an excuse for everything, is’nt that what the skeptics of global warming are saying that the ocean currents, PDO, AMO, sun irradiance, etc all the natural cycles are causing global temperature changes. Funny how they try to explain away global warming, but the fact is that it is just a theory, just like the hundreds of theories that have gone by the way side. The fact is that there is too much unknown and uncertainties to know the real cause of global warming or of lately global neutral temperatures. How about the climate models, we can barely accurately predict weather beyond 5 days let alone 10 to 100 years with climate models, what a joke. They know very little about the role of clouds and water vapor which have a much stronger effect on the greenhouse effect.