Bushfire Management in Australian Forests: A Note from Roger Underwood

THERE is an old saying that one of the greatest of human failings is the inability to learn from the mistakes of others. One example is that of my 2-year old grandson who, despite being warned, could not resist testing the heat of the stove, and got his fingers burned. I have noted an identical situation in the attempts at bushfire management by Australia’s new generation of forest managers.

Yet while the new managers have suffered a lot of burned fingers over the last ten years, strangely they do not seem to be learning from it. There are three simple lessons which could be learned: First, the current approach to bushfire management is not working. Second, the current approach has been tried before and it didn’t work then either. And third, there are still a lot of people around who know all this, from whose first-hand experience much could be learned.

Another well-known aphorism tells us that those who do not study history are condemned to repeat it.

Sadly, when it comes to bushfire management in Australia, I see history repeating itself continuously, and even worse, because of recent changes in our forest management environment, the outlook is for more of the same. And its not just fingers getting burned. Every year over the last ten, the nation’s forests, farmlands and even suburbs have been ravaged by large, high intensity fires. The damage from these fires, the wastage, the loss of resources and the economic and ecological costs have been astronomical. There have also been great but immeasurable psychological impacts on the people in the bush who have suffered from the fires, or who have been forced to turn out, over and over again, to fight them.

The sorriest aspect is that it is all so needless. It is not as if we Australians are brand new settlers in this country, still feeling our way and guided by imported European philosophies, immature science, inexperience of the bush or impractical ideologies.

Or are we? Consider the response from officialdom to the 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 fires. Our State governments and agencies are in denial, as witnessed by that monumental whitewash known as the Esplin Report, and by the refusal of State Premiers to adopt the excellent motion put to them by Senator Abetz recently. Consider a recent public statement of the Chief Officer of the NSW Rural Fire Service: he claimed there was no new serious bushfire problem in Australia, it is all a beat-up by the media. Consider the way the ACT government blamed the 2003 fires on God, while the WA government blamed the disastrous fire at Mundaring Weir on an arsonist.

Meanwhile, the Emergency Services lobby is renewing its calls for ever more expensive and sophisticated equipment and suppression forces, the environmentalists are blaming Global Warming, while the intellectual leadership and credibility of our academics continues to decline. The darling of the greens, academic Robert Whelan, for example has publicly argued against fuel reduction burning, while influential Canberra ecologist Richard Norris claims that the answer to the bushfire problem is simply to take people away from areas where bushfires occur, or make them live in fireproof structures. How he believes that this policy could be achieved in regional Victoria, southwestern WA, the urban fringe of Sydney, or in Tasmania, he does not explain.

If all of these people were less driven by politics or ideology, or if they actually knew something about bushfires or were required to design and implement a bushfire management system and then be accountable for the results, or even if they were prepared to make a serious study of the history of bushfire management in this country, they might have a very different view.

The fact is that large high intensity bushfires result from failed land management. Like a disease epidemic, they are incubated over several years during which preventative medicine could have been applied, but was not.

We are not brand new settlers on this continent. Australian land managers, land owners, foresters and rural workers have been confronting the threat of bushfires for over 200 years, and wildland fire has been the subject of very high quality scientific research over the last 50.

This experience and science have revealed that there are three basic alternative approaches to bushfire management: you can let fires burn, you can try to suppress them, or you can try to replace “feral” fires with controlled fires. All of these approaches are applicable and appropriate singly or in combination in different parts of the country. The trick is to get the most effective mixture for a particular place at a particular time.

To look at each of these briefly:

• In the Let-burn approach nature is assumed to know best, and fires are left to burn to their heart’s content, to go out eventually if they run into last year’s fire, or to be extinguished at the onset of the rainy season or tackled at the edge of the bush if human assets are threatened. By force of circumstances, the let-burn approach is appropriate for bushfires in the remote lands of central Australia and most of the rangelands where access is poor and there are few people or threatened assets. The trouble is that this approach is now advocated by environmentalists for application to our high rainfall forest country. Those who advocate this, it should be noted, mostly live well inside surburbia, are not threatened by fires, do not have to fight them and cannot be held legally accountable for the outcome of such a policy. No government can afford to adopt the let-burn approach for the more populous forest and agricultural regions, at least not officially, although the Victorian government came very close to it a few months ago when it withdrew firefighters from the bush to protect towns.

The two biggest problems with the let-burn approach are (i) fires burning out of heavy forest country can be unstoppable when they reach the edge of the bush; and (ii) under Common Law a token effort must always be made by the land owner or manager to suppress wildfires, because not to do so lays them open to legal action.

• The second alternative approach is the All-out Suppression approach. This requires fires to be attacked immediately after detection, using the resources of an emergency service, or “fire brigade” set up for the purpose. This approach originated in the cities of Europe in the middle ages, and was exemplified by the drama of the ringing alarm bells, galloping horse-drawn fire engines and magnificently uniformed and helmeted firefighters. The current image is equally theatrical, with water bombers and helitaks sweeping the smoky skies, convoys of tankers filing along country roads, and brilliantly uniformed Fire Chiefs being interviewed on television by breathless reporters.

The all-out suppression approach is appropriate in cities, where there are permanent firefighters on standby 24 hours a day who are able to get to any fire within minutes. In earlier days in rural Australia the suppression approach was implemented by volunteer brigades of farmers and bushworkers, and was largely successful in developed farmland and country towns.

However, in rural Australia these days the networks of small self-funded local bushfire brigades have morphed into highly sophisticated paramilitary organisations such as the CFA and the NSW RFS, complete with their decision-making headquarters in the city and their armies and airforces. Increasingly they are being expected to fight full-scale forest fires. This is partly because of the loss of experienced full time agency firefighters and also the loss of firefighters from the former hardwood timber industry who were once the frontline troops in any forest fire.

But the main reason is that the all-out Suppression Approach is fast becoming the dominant philosophy in most of Australia, especially NSW and Victoria.

The amazing thing about this is that it flies in the face of practical experience and bushfire science. This approach does not and cannot work in Australian eucalypt forests unless it is supplemented by other measures (discussed below). Fires on hot windy summer days in long unburnt forests simply cannot be put out by humans, no matter how many, how courageous and how hard they work and how good their technology. Even under relatively mild conditions, the intensity of fires burning in fuels over about 10 tonnes per hectare is simply too great to allow them to be attacked successfully. The 2007 Victorian fires demonstrated that the entire firefighting resources of Australia, plus international assistance from NZ, Canada and the USA, were inadequate.

This is a situation which was once well understood by Australian forest managers. Which is why in the 1950s there was a general move to adopt a third approach – the substitution of controlled mild fire for uncontrolled high intensity wildfire.

• I call this the green burning approach. It recognises two simple facts: Firstly, that bushfires cannot be prevented – even if we eliminated all mankind from the forest, there would still be lightning. And second, periodic mild, patchy fires prevent the build-up of heavy fuels, so that when a fire does start it is easier and safer to suppress, does less damage, and costs less. A regime of green burning also produces a healthier and more vigorous forest and is better for biodiversity. This approach was applied rigorously in many Australian forests for nearly 30 years, with tremendous success. Unfortunately since about the 1980s green burning has been under constant attack from environmentalists and academics. As a result, in Victoria and New South Wales, especially in forests which are now national parks, almost no effective prescribed burning is done. Even in WA, where green burning was once championed and is still applied, the area burnt each year has now fallen well below that required to ensure an effective fire management system. Here the annual burning target is 8% of the forest – simple arithmetic allows you to calculate that this equates to a turn-around time of 12 years, which in the jarrah forest is nearly twice the recommended burning rotation length if summer wildfires are to be manageable. The anti-burners have achieved this irresponsible situation not through special expertise in fire prevention or suppression, not through being able to put in place an alternative and equally effective system, but simply by gaining control of government policy and by the capture of the new forest management agencies.

There are two other problems, which I will mention only briefly…..

Opposition to prescribed burning has been accompanied by two further problems in the forest: a decline in the standard of road and fire trail maintenance – in some cases due to lack of funds, in other cases as a result of deliberate policy – and fewer permanent agency staff in the bush. The first of these factors has meant it is harder for firefighters to get to fires; the second has meant an increasing reliance on volunteers and on part-time and less experienced firefighters. In WA, as in other States, the government has newly established a large Wilderness Area in the forest, and within this area they are busy closing down roads. This is done in the full knowledge that it will make firefighting more difficult and dangerous.

What Can be Done?

My experience is revealing. I am the Chairman of a small independent group in WA called the Bushfire Front, and for nearly 5 years we have tried to influence government policy by logic, science and the weight of our >400 years cumulative wisdom and practical experience in all aspects of bushfire management. We have had one meeting with the Premier and numerous meetings with many Ministers and senior agency staff and have made dozens of submissions and presentations. The result is that we have moved from getting the cold shoulder (where we were simply ignored) to getting the warm shoulder (where they agree with us, but do nothing). The government feels very comfortable about this response because we pack no political punch. Ministers and agency bosses know where the real political clout lies. This is with the green pressure groups who control voting preferences and thus are able to determine government forestry policy.

In fact the green influence extends beyond policy to management plans and to bureaucratic regulation, including the imposition of ludicrous constraints on the burning program. No forester can undertake a prescribed burn in WA these days without filling in a 73-page document, running a public consultation program and then obtaining the signatures and approval of nine separate senior departmental mandarins, most of whom know nothing about fire. Finally, completed burns are subjected to a costly environmental audit which focuses on bureaucratic trivia, not fire control effectiveness. All of this, it seems to us, is deliberately designed to discourage burning and to make it harder for field staff to accomplish an effective fuel reduction program.

One of the greatest ironies of them all is that the department’s own ecological research has shown conclusively that biodiversity and forest conservation are enhanced by frequent mild fires, while large fierce fires cause enormous forest and environmental damage. A single hot wildfire near Mundaring Weir two years ago was found to have killed ten million mature jarrah, marri and wandoo trees. Yet this produced no change in the department’s fire management approach, nor was there a peep of concern from the environmentalists.

The most the Bushfire Front can say we have achieved is that we are well positioned to produce evidence of our warnings and the way these have been ignored to the inevitable Royal Commission after the inevitable bushfire disaster. This will give us no satisfaction.

Similarly we have had almost no success in motivating the media over the issue. We have found that journalists are interested in bushfires only as sensational disasters and theatrical drama; they find issues like damage mitigation and bushfire preparedness boring and un-newsworthy.

I am well aware that our forest managers today must operate in a greatly changed environment to that in which I worked 15 years ago. Here I am not referring to the hysteria about global warming. The big change is that bushfire management has moved from the business of land management to the business of politics. In the business of politics, history, science, practical experience, wisdom and logic seem to count for nothing.

In my opinion, until the voice of the bush is heard more loudly than the voice of the urban greens and impractical academics this situation will not change. We will continue to be unable to expose the policy vacuum, the flawed ideology, the lack of leadership and incompetent governance which characterise the current approach to bushfire management in this country.

There is one bright light on the horizon: this is the possibility that the Federal Government will become more involved, and will institute a new system in which the States are financially penalised for failed bushfire policies and management, rather than being rewarded as at present. I welcome the leadership in this area being shown by Eric Abetz, Garry Nairn, Stewart McArthur and one or two others in the Federal parliament, and commend to them the simple template for Best Practice in Bushfire Management which we have developed.

In conclusion, Australia does not need more helitaks, more water bombers, more infra-red gizmos or more overseas firefighters. What is needed is a fundamental change in bushfire philosophy and governance. Forest managing agencies and fire services must shift their focus from suppressing running fires to the critical long-term work of pre-emptive and responsible land management. Their job is to make the task of the firefighter easier and safer, not harder and more dangerous. Arson, Acts of God and possible Global Warming can all be anticipated and steps can be taken to minimise their impact. We know what to do and how to do it.

Finally, I would like to return to my theme about the lessons from history. At a conference of forestry officers in Perth in 1923, the Conservator Stephen Kessell was laying down his philosophy to departmental staff. Preventing large high intensity forest fires, he said, is the most fundamental requirement for forest conservation in Australia. Kessell recognised that without effective bushfire management, no other management outcomes can be achieved.

It’s that simple. Sadly, 80 years later, many of the people who today are responsible for conserving Australia’s forests have not yet grasped this fact. They fiddle, while Australia burns.”

This is an edited version of ‘Bushfire management in Australian forests – confronting a changing environment’ a paper by Roger Underwood presented to the Timber Communities of Australia conference in Perth, Western Australia, April 2007. This article was first published at this blog in May 2007.

332 Responses to Bushfire Management in Australian Forests: A Note from Roger Underwood

  1. John Sayers October 22, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

    Thank you Jennifer for reposting this article. I must say that everything he has said has been supported by a series of interviews conducted by the commentators on 2GB over the past week. For example one experienced WA forester said that 18% per annum must be hazard reduction burnt to save us from intense fires like they are experiencing in the Blue Mountains currently.

    I notice he never mentioned the aboriginal burning prior to our settlement. In my region of the upper Clarence the historical record shows that the first settlers rode down from Tenterfield through grassland dotted with 8 – 10 huge trees per hectare. The land had been constantly burnt by the Bundjalung tribes so only the large trees survived and gave escape paths for lizards and snakes etc and the roos just out ran them. Today you couldn’t get 100 yards on horseback through the dense low level scrub that has replaced the previous landscape.

    On the social networks I have been appalled at the arrogance and sheer ignorance of the supporters of Adam Bandt and Christine Milne and their attack on Tony Abbott. They blatantly accuse him of creating the fires by cutting the carbon tax etc. The ABC is no better with outrageous statements like this is unprecedented in October etc yet a simple fact check would show how stupid their statements are.

    I really don’t know what is happening to this country when ignorance and hubris rules and experience and common sense are suppressed and ignored.

  2. Beth Cooper October 23, 2013 at 12:00 am #

    Thanks to Roger Underwood for an excellent article – context and
    logic of the situation , something Christine and Adam ignore, not
    at their peril but at ours. They have a different agenda, weaken
    and conquer the prols.

  3. Robert October 23, 2013 at 4:03 am #

    Oddly, an extensive new fire management system would actually reduce CO2 output, as would much more efficient coal power gen. But we all know it’s not about carbon. Somehow I think our Green Betters would rather have the bushfires and ageing coal facilities. No waste is too great in the service of the Great Cause. You can’t burn an omelet without breaking all the eggs, as any leftist intellectual will tell you.

    Anyway, thanks to Roger for writing and Jen for publishing. Love the above comments.

  4. Pathway October 23, 2013 at 6:16 am #

    Improper fire management practices are not only a problem in Australia, but also in North America. Here in Colorado, we have people who think that they need to get in touch with nature by building there homes in the forest and would not dare cut down a tree. Wildfires (our largest started by a Forest Service ranger) sweep through overgrown forests with the damage to property in the 100’s of millions. The bad publicity causes federal agencies to be afraid of lighting controlled burns, so the forest becomes more decadent and prone to catastrophic fire. Some of the non profits in my area have been trying to do a 5,000 acre control burn for the last 4 years, but the US Forest Service finds one excuse after another to not light the match. Over growth of gamble oak has so choked the transition zone that undulates not longer migrate to the high country in the summer, but spend their whole life on the ranchers land and eat the land owner out of house and home.
    My motto is burn baby burn.

  5. Glen Michel October 23, 2013 at 7:28 am #

    You know it makes sense! My experience is appropriate to the Nandewar ranges and local knowledge is all important as it means that they have a intimate understanding of conditions and terrain.We had this ridiculous situation several years ago where a fire got out of control after an auto/caravan accident;the fire was initially suppressed but not kept under observation overnight.Next day started with a strong NNW wind and high temps and low humidity and the fire developed into a irrepressible conflagration.Of course NP and RFS experts held sway over local expertise- too many chook less heads and chiefs which led to indecision which delayed an effective conclusion to the situation.It’s hard and sometimes dangerous work fighting fires which could be made easier with an intelligent approach which includes understory reduction and less red tape.

  6. Neville October 23, 2013 at 7:57 am #

    Thanks very much Roger for an excellent article, but it seems we’ve used zip brain power since this was posted six years ago.
    The Labor and Green vote dropped markedly in the recent election, so perhaps we may have a bit of spine added to the Coalition members and gradually see some action. Who knows.

    But at least Abbott has had the first hand experience of fighting fires so surely he must be more responsive to the right message.
    If the Green idiots couldn’t care less about the loss of 10 million high value trees in WA we know they are beyond all hope.

  7. Luke October 23, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    Stupid rabid comments of Beth and Neville. Just rotten to the core and putrid green bashing trying to deflect from a wider responsibility.

    Greens haven’t been around that long and anyone with a scintilla of nous would know that our fire history changed from the moment of European arrival. Aboriginal fire management documented so well in The Biggest Estate on Earth – Bill Gammage.

    Whole forests like the Piliga scrub are testament to changes in fire regime. Examples nationally and globally (SW USA, southern Africa) are everywhere. Adam Bandt and Christine Milne aren’t responsible for all these changes.

    So we have two Australias. The Cape, Top End and Kimberley which burn too hot and too often.

    And the rest of the nation that doesn’t burn enough. I don’t think there are greenies across every square inch somehow.

    Most serious enviro organisations are VERY interested in fire regime. Bush Heritage for example lists as a core objective “ensuring the appropriateness of fire regimes”.

    Indeed in recent years some personal trips to favourite National Parks has been impacted by controlled burns.

    Instead of rabidly blaming greens for everything across every square inch of Australia how about some collective responsibility. And a realisation of many fewer feet on the ground – a direct result of staff cutbacks so enjoyed by the new right in Australia are a serious part of the problem. And in large areas of northern Australia land managers are wary of lighting fires.

    Roger Underwood is on the money but the policy and resources needs are considerable.

    Don’t let twits like Neville anywhere near a serious discussion or you’ll poison the well of goodwill.

  8. paul October 23, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    On the dangerous side of all settlements the forests should be progressively thinned of trees leading up to say the last 200 metres consisting of a more parklands type landscape with non Eucalypt type trees and shrubs or grape vines or if you like community gardens, perhaps a bit like what surrounds adelaides CBD

    In the case of fire residents will then have the confidence to stay and fight the spot fires at their homes ( a piece of cake I would suggest if they have sufficient water )

    I don’t know the true relationship between fuel load and fire intensity but I bet it is non linear.
    I suspect reducing fuel load by a 1/4 might give 1/2 the fire

    I look at my location in the Adelaide hills and honestly it could be all gone in a major fire, thousands of houses destroyed , hundreds killed .Just why the Adelaide hills face zone is not thinned of gum trees scares me . I would buy the wood to warm me in winter so the exercise could be partially self funded


  9. Debbie October 23, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    you seriously need to get over yourself.
    Go look at the policies and legislation that has PREVENTED the sensible management of fire risk. Ask yourself which/what political ideology has driven the policies and legislation.
    We don’t need more centralisation & bureaucracy. . . that is actually part of the problem NOT the solution.

  10. handjive October 23, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    Reading this post is like pouring the water of common sense on a bush firedance of raging alarmist ghouls.
    What a relief. Phew! An oasis of common sense.
    • Ignorant comment by Luke to highlight on this thread so far:
    “Greens haven’t been around that long and …”
    In the search for truth, Goodwin can shove his law up his clacker, and so can Luke:
    PS. Attacks on websites with links: priceless!

  11. Debbie October 23, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    In order to try and have a ‘serious’ look at the problem let’s try it this way:
    You say in your comment:
    “Roger Underwood is on the money but the policy and resources needs are considerable. ”

    Which is completely contradictory when we look at the major points that Roger clearly and sensibly makes re ‘resources’ and ‘policy’

    To make it easier I have copy/pasted some key sections:

    The anti-burners have achieved this irresponsible situation not through special expertise in fire prevention or suppression, not through being able to put in place an alternative and equally effective system, but simply by gaining control of government policy and by the capture of the new forest management agencies.

    Ministers and agency bosses know where the real political clout lies. This is with the green pressure groups who control voting preferences and thus are able to determine government forestry policy.

    The big change is that bushfire management has moved from the business of land management to the business of politics. In the business of politics, history, science, practical experience, wisdom and logic seem to count for nothing.

    In my opinion, until the voice of the bush is heard more loudly than the voice of the urban greens and impractical academics this situation will not change. We will continue to be unable to expose the policy vacuum, the flawed ideology, the lack of leadership and incompetent governance which characterise the current approach to bushfire management in this country.

    In conclusion, Australia does not need more helitaks, more water bombers, more infra-red gizmos or more overseas firefighters. What is needed is a fundamental change in bushfire philosophy and governance. ”

    So similar to my previous comment Luke:
    Perhaps you need to get past your own political bias and actually view the issue of managing the very real threat of bushfire with the same type of ‘serious’ common sense that Roger Underwood does?
    As Roger clearly points out….sensible management strategies have been PREVENTED by the political landscape and the domination of policy and legislation by GREEN/ENVIRONMENTAL politics
    We DON’T NEED MORE of that behaviour….WE NEED LESS OF IT!

  12. handjive October 23, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    Ignorant comment from Luke #2:
    “And a realisation of many fewer feet on the ground – a direct result of staff cutbacks so enjoyed by the new right in Australia are a serious part of the problem.”

    Savings from the closing of the Department of Climate Change, (so enjoyed by the progressives of the left in Australia) should pay for that serious problem.

  13. paul October 23, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    attention Handjive and luke

    further linking of greens and Nazis can be found here


  14. bazza October 23, 2013 at 11:15 am #
  15. jennifer October 23, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    Can we please keep comments at this thread civil.
    I remember that 173 people died on Black Saturday February 7, 2009.

    Two comments just deleted. Can we please lift the standard from this comment going forward or I will close the thread.

  16. Debbie October 23, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    Be honest Bazza…if we need to manage the very real and CURRENT risks that are posed by bushfires…focusing on AGW and pretending we can manage bushfires by managing climate change (presumably by taxing CO2?) IS NOT what we should be focusing on.

  17. bazza October 23, 2013 at 12:35 pm #
  18. Robert October 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    Along the edge of my property is a long fenced off road which is just state forest. The road has been there, unused, forever. The expensive fencing was added recently by the 99 year occupant not for any purpose other than to stop having to pay an annual (spiralling) grazing fee on land where nothing could graze. The fence is completely useless, as is the road. The forestry had no choice because they needed the money. Now it’s just a fire trap. Forestry might one day harvest the timbers and reconstitute the road as a fire break and access, but the means and interest have long gone. The only good thing is that the lantana enables the nimble swamp wallabies to survive. Most other species are torn apart by the ferals we are too squeamish to bait or hunt.

    From where I sit, what Roger proposes will be extremely costly and invasive…but worth it all. I’m quite excited by his contribution. The billions wasted on “green” initiatives and scams could all be well spent on active stewardship of land, water and bush.

  19. Debbie October 23, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    I don’t agree that was your point and I’m not ‘with’ Abbot (or anyone in the manner you insinuate).
    I am however in agreeance with the main arguments that Roger Underwood outlines.
    Of course the risks have increased and Underwood explains why.
    AGW is NOT one of the major contributing factors.
    Go back and read my comment @ 10:36

  20. bazza October 23, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    Jen, pls delete all my comments from this page.

  21. Larry Fields October 23, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Stephen Pyne, at Arizona State University, is arguably the top expert on Fire Management in the USA. He and Roger appear to be on the same page. The difference is that most American public land managers are more pragmatic than their Aussie counterparts, and they actually listen to Stephen. Here’s a brief quote and link to one of his essays.

    Our Pappies Still Burn the Woods

    “Within the southern fire community there may be a more detested man than John P. Shea and a scholarly paper more loathed than his 1941 potboiler, “Our Pappies Burned the Woods,” but I’m hard pressed to know who and what they might be.

    “In truth, Shea earned much of that scorn.  “Your Psychologist,” as he styled himself to his bosses at the U.S. Forest Service, got many of his fire facts wrong.  He stood with forestry professionals and dismissed the arguments that southern woodsburners gave him for why they annually fired the landscape.  It was the abject irrationality of their views and the mule-headedness with which they held them that inspired the Forest Service to hire Shea in the hopes that he might ferret out the unconscious reasons for their unreasonable behavior.” 

    Read more here.

  22. Neville October 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Here is a good interview Alan Jones conducted this morning with David Packham.

    http://www.2gb.com/audioplayer/19251 Just backs up everything that Roger has written in this post.

    Bazza Labor and the Coalition both intend to reduce OZ emissions by 5% by 2020, so please tell us how this will help the bushfire situation?
    But here’s a few more questions. Do you support OZ’s exports of coal, gas and iron ore and the huge increases to come?
    Tell us whether you think that solar and wind energy can reduce bushfire risk?
    Explain how new nuclear energy plants built here or anywhere in the world will help reduce the risks of bushfires in OZ?
    And please explain to us any factors other than a reduction in fuel load that will reduce bushfire damage in OZ for the rest of the century?
    But don’t forget your answers will need to pass a simple maths check. I think you know where this is going?

  23. Neville October 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    Bazza what is the connection you’re trying to make to the recent strong la nina and bushfires?

  24. John Sayers October 23, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    Yes Neville – another good 2GB interview.

    I remember following the 2009 fires in Victoria I was chatting with my neighbour who happens to be the local fire chief. We were discussing the hazard reduction program and how the failure to implement it in Victoria was one of the major causes of the intensity of the fires.

    So I asked him what was the policy in our area and he asked me if I meant before of after the Victorian fires. Apparently the word had been sent down the chain of command by voice, not by written command, to “do what you have determined needs to be done!” Which of course begs the question – who is checking what the RFS is doing in terms of hazard reduction burns etc?

  25. toby October 23, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    Suppose it is true that the bush fires we are having are as a result of CAGW.

    What would Bandt, Luke Bazza et al have us do about it? A carbon tax is just mass insanity as any thinking person has to realise. It might make you feel good but it is a platitude to gaia.

    Removing the carbon tax when it happens will not alter the worlds climate in any recognisable way.

    We also know that the world is not acting…European carbon price raises less than 500m per year from +300 million people, ours raised +9b in yr 1 from 23 m. In fact our carbon tax probably raised more in 1 year that all of the rest of the worlds prices together.

    The fires are a result of many factors, some of which are within our control. The climate however is not one of them. Roger’s article makes this quite clear as do discussions with anybody that deals with fires.

    As usual the CAGW mob screams loud and points fingers accusingly to gain political mileage.

    Abbott/ Sceptics/ climate criminals/ deniers however are to blame for these fires because?…….

    seriously we have adults acting like children…or should that be vice versa?!

  26. Debbie October 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    I sincerely hope Bazza’s request to have his comments deleted was because he realised he was polarising and politicising an issue that should NOT be polarised and politicised.
    I also sincerely hope that others who have been attempting to do the same in the MSM cut it out as well.
    Barry Underwood has a very good article posted here and it clearly and sensibly outlines what we know are the best risk management strategies for bushfires as well as outlining what has PREVENTED these strategies from being sensibly implemented.

  27. Neville October 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    Toby we are dealing with a very strange crowd. Thay swear and get upset then make all the accusations against us but wimp out big time every time when we ask the simple questions.

    I’m a hog for punishment I know but why can’t they please explain how Labor’s co2 tax will help the bushfire risk, or change anything at all? And I mean AT ALL.

  28. cinders October 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    Report on Inquiry into the NSW Rural Fire Service June 2000
    Statement of Dissent by the Hon Malcolm Jones MLC

    The Director-General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Brian Gilligan in his
    evidence, emphasised the importance of hazard reduction in the strategy of combating rural
    fires. However Table 6 entitled “Total Areas Burnt in Prescribed Burns on NPWS Parks and
    Reserves 1993-99” illustrates the drastic reduction in areas burnt from 1993-94, was 47,816 ha
    to only 12,876 ha in 1998-99, with a low in 1997-98 of only 8,302 ha.

    During the same period the National Park estate has increased by approximately 50% in size to
    4.5 million ha, with the addition of over 150 new parks.

    Conditions in 1999-2000 will create an abundance of fuel loads on the ground which, together
    with any cyclical change in conditions from wet prevailing weather to dry conditions,
    particularly along the eastern seaboard, have the potential to create extreme fire conditions in
    the summer of 2000/2001 or subsequent years.

    Therefore, notwithstanding the Director-General’s comments regarding how much better the
    NPWS are at hazard reduction, unless efforts are increased in the future the horror firestorms
    of 1994 will again revisit us.

  29. Neville October 23, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    Abbott has copped it in the neck about the damage he and the Coalition are causing to increased bushfire risk now and into the future.
    The ABC , Fairfax, IPCC chiefs, Bandt, the Greens and much of the MSM have all inferred that the Coalition are putting everyone at a greater risk from bushfires.
    But if you look at the maths none of this makes any sense at all. We know that if we scrapped 100% of OZ emissions today we still couldn’t make a scrap of difference to the fires next year or in 50 years or by 2100.
    Apart from Bolt and a few others there is nobody in the MSM who has the guts to challenge these liars and catastrophists. Why is that?
    Of course when we ask for proof there’s plenty of abuse but no answers.

  30. Luke October 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Yep need to increase the pressure on the the denier industry.

    Record La Nina gives record plant growth nicely fertilised by CO2, nicely cooked in record temperatures. Just what you expect.

    Right wing governments running down every department they can get their hands on. So who can manage the reduction burns. Certainly land holders aren’t capable.

    Having panicked the right wing extremist commentators paid for by who knows who are trying to suppress all discussion and blame the greens and shutdown the ABC.

    Silence dissent by force

    Sounds a bit like what the Nazis did? Oh that’s right the greens are Nazis – I keep forgetting.

  31. cohenite October 23, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    This is a great post based as it is on common sense and a recognition of the true land management history of this country.

    It beggars belief that a great deal of commentary over the last few weeks beginning with Bandt and a veritable conga line of Green apologists and supporters have promulgated the idea that AGW is making worse bush-fires in both number and intensity. There are a number of articles which deal with this social irresponsibility and which also present evidence to contradict the idea that AGW is a factor in the bush-fires; in the interests of Jennifer’s plea for civility I will merely provide the link:


  32. Another Ian October 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    My 2 cent summary from experience as a volunteed

    The urban side (including Firecom) work on

    “Put it out before it burns something”

    Whereas the rural side works on

    “We want to burn something before we put it out”

  33. Graeme M October 23, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    Neville I agree with you about the nonsense being spread in the media. This harks back to what I have said before about the misunderstandings the general population have.

    It really sounds as though people think that the effect of AGW on Australia will be affected by how much carbon dioxide we emit. The MSM message of recent days seems to be that by repealing the carbon tax we will have committed Australia to a hellish future. And yet the fact is that NO-ONE can advance the slightest shred of evidence that the Labor policy would mitigate the effects of AGW by any degree whatsoever.

    I sat through a conversation at work today where sincere people voiced their concerns about how bad the next 20 years will be due to Liberal policy. WTF? Do they have ANY idea what they are talking about? Clearly not.

    Why is it OK to slander Andrew Bolt for making what are quite accurate statements and yet the utter tosh that people like Bandt churn out is greeted with such sympathy and eager agreement?

  34. Mark A October 23, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    Don’t quite follow Ian’s post, a footnote might help a slow one like me.

  35. Graeme M October 23, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    Oh for fork’s sake… how topical. Annabel interviewing Al Gore FFS!!! She even asked him if the Liberal climate change policy is an effective option. How the hell can she ask Gore, a complete NON-SCIENTIST, about that? As though his view should carry more weight than say Anthony Watts???

  36. Debbie October 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    I meant ROGER Underwood. . . no idea who Barry Underwood is.
    Sincere apologies.

  37. jennifer October 23, 2013 at 7:30 pm #


    Thanks for that. Can you provide more information regard the source of the figures you quote and a URL and/or send me the report.

    And any chance you can find something more recent regarding areas burnt?

  38. Neville October 23, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    Carbon Modeler Dr David Evans has a new post on the fires and fuel loads and historical Aboriginal burning etc.


  39. John Sayers October 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    Here’s the Greens Policy on forest fires.


    says it all really.

  40. John Sayers October 23, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    Here’s the report you were asking about Jen


  41. cinders October 23, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    The 2000 Inquiry into the NSW RFS is at http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/committee.nsf/0/58eacbe58a12e811ca25690700153515/$FILE/RFS%20Final%20Report.pdf

    Part of the inquiry looked at changes to the RFS and forest management since the 1993/1994 fires.
    These fires ranged from the Queensland border of NSW through the North
    and Central Coast, and down through Sydney to the South Coast area of Batemans Bay. The
    total area burnt by the fires was 800,000ha

  42. cinders October 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    There seems to be all sorts of historical records on these unprecendented bush fires, this about the 1936 bushfires in Northern NSW and Queensland in October: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/37002424

  43. Bill Burrows October 23, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

    Congratulations to Jennifer for re-posting Roger Underwood’s informative and insightful comments on Australia’s predictable and recurring bushfire problem. Keep Roger’s post in a readily accessible file Jen – I’ve no doubt it will be apropos again and again in the future, while ever you maintain this blog.
    When I was a boy on our woodland grazing block (in central Queensland in the 1950’s) we would burn the dry grass every year in the Spring time – usually after the first storms. This was primarily to provide a ‘green pick’ for our livestock, but all landholders also appreciated that it kept the country ‘open’. There was little undergrowth beneath the eucalypt overstorey. We sold the property in the mid 1970’s and a developer cut it up into 10 acre urban yuppie allotments. An adjacent paddock that was clear of trees for 100 years was also subjected to a reduced fire frequency regime when it was placed under cell grazing. All this country is now thick with undergrowth and a rapidly expanding tree population.
    During my professional career I trained as a woodland ecologist and spent 40 years practising my profession – focussing on 130 forest and woodland monitoring plots located throughout Queensland. I can assure you that ‘before the pill’, before the 1970’s global cooling, before subsequent global warming, before the temperature hiatus, before the Rio earth summit and before the Montreal Protocol the overwhelming evidence mounted that the intact woodlands and shrublands were ‘thickening up’ (increasing in density and foliage cover). This has seemingly been an inexorable, unidirectional process since Europeans displaced aboriginal management, with only minor pauses in especially dry years.
    The process so fascinated me that it became the subject of my ‘post hole digger’s’ dissertation in the early 1970’s. Fenceline contrasts with dense woody trees on one side of the fence and open grassland on the other side of the fence are common in rangeland situations. Yes the soils are the same, the rainfall is the same, the carbon dioxide concentration in the air is the same – but inevitably the side of the fence with few woodies has been regularly burnt, while fire incidence is much reduced where the woodies dominate the vegetation.
    There has been a huge amount of research carried out on fire and the Australian biota. Many tomes have been written on the subject. A comprehensive review was published by the visiting US scholar Stephen J Pyne (1991) “Burning Bush – A Fire History of Australia” (qv Larry Fields re your comment above). Bill Gammage’s (2011) “The Biggest Estate on Earth – How Aborigenes Made Australia” is also a must read. Oldtimers could refer to the work of A. G. McArthur and Malcolm Gill with much profit to contemporary situations.
    My personal perspective is much influenced by the history of my family in the Queensland bush over the past 100+ years, along with my years of woodland research. Meanwhile as early as 1911 the distinguished geographer Karl Domin concluded that, in all parts of Queensland the open ‘forests’ (the true ‘remnant’ condition?) developed through the influence of aborigines, mostly by means of bush fires. Likewise in 1955, M.R.Jacobs, the doyen of eucalypt ecologists correctly prophesized in his seminal book written about the genus – “If fires were controlled the eucalypts would make a much closer forest in the far north of Australia”. In 2002 it was noted in the Tropical Topics newsletter of the Tropical Savannas CRC that “in the past, according to historical records, indigenous people lit fires at almost any time when it wasn’t raining”! In my vernacular I saw aborigines managing their country by burning it – in three ways – frequently, regularly and often. My groups long term population studies suggest that eucalypts (and undergrowth) will only stop thickening if fires occur every 2-3 years (at a minimum). Unfortunately prescribed burns on a 5-10 year frequency can at best postpone, but not eliminate the likelihood of repeated ‘holocaust’ fires. When will we ever learn?

  44. Neville October 23, 2013 at 9:48 pm #


    [Deleted text from this one as not keeping with the more appropriate tone for this thread of civility after a fashion – Jen @ 10.30pm]

  45. John Sayers October 23, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

    Here’s some of youtubes of Bill Gammage



  46. jennifer October 23, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    John Sayers and Cinders, Thanks for the links etcetera.

    Also, Chatting with someone tonight who suggested that over the term of the current NSW government the area of National Park now prescribe burnt has increased from 1% to 2% and that his is a major achievement and a direct consequence of the February 2009 Victorian fires.

    I hope to have a source I can quote tomorrow. Of course 2% is totally inadequate, but still a significant more in the right direction.

  47. Robert October 23, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    I know how complex and tricky change will be, but it’s inspiring to read these ideas on land stewardship. We can’t turn back the clock but we can come up with our own ways based on ideas of people like Bill Gammage and Roger. Stewardship is the key. The Greens will only give us ferals and fire and neglect.

    Fortunately, our Bob Carr National Park and almost abandoned State Forest are to the east and south of me, and I have some aboriginal neighbours to the north and west – the fire sector – who do burn off a bit. (Not all of them know what they are doing, but a few do know.) You can’t really put pressure on anybody like NPs or forestry because of the fragmentation of bush management and sheer lack of funds and resources available to each fragment.

    Still, change can be sparked by a great blog entry like this one.

  48. Luke October 24, 2013 at 7:05 am #

    Building on what Bill Burrows has added, the whole psychological tone of the fire management issue is fascinating. The vast amount of coverage from right wing shocks jocks about “a” POV by the greens.

    As if green-bashing is the only consideration. Let’s not worry about real death and destruction.

    Let’s just rant on endlessly about Bandt, Milne, Gore. Let’s have a good old diversion about greens being Nazis. Meanwhile someone’s house just got burned down.

    So the righteous right have plenty of opportunities in government to show some leadership and make a change. But nothing.

    So you’d rather talk about what the greens may or may not have said, whether the ABC should be privatised by Fox News so Andrew Bolt can provide the correct interpretation on every news story from boats (And surely we haven’t heard about boats for a few days) to budgets.

    So there’s almost a glee in chasing rabbits and constructing massive virtual battles on pretend playfields rather than actually come up with some serious new strategies. Speaking of which, perhaps our military not Adam Bandt might be responsible in this recent case for friendly fire. But no good right winger would ever criticise the services regardless of how many firecrackers they let off in silly fire weather.

    So lots of green bashing but frankly a real paralysis to affect any change.

    Greens despite being as organised as the Third Reich and allegedly occupying every square inch of Bill Gammage’s Greatest Estate don’t have the influence that most of our landholders out there do.

    So Burrow’s life’s work has informed us how much Europeans have reverse engineered Australian vegetation associations over the last 200 years. That’s many of us I think.

    So it seems we’re not burning ” frequently, regularly and often” as Bill suggests. And that’s many of us not Adam Bandt.

    And the ever fashionable Commission of Audits continue to roll out as has been done elsewhere the righteous right will be most happy to get government size down (and every libertarian’s dream surely) by pushing as much work off its books into private enterprise.

    One day you see it – next day you don’t Gone !

    Where so often as is now being demonstrated you can get half the output for the same money (gotta make those profits for shareholders). But as someone once said “don’t you worry about that”.

    The ultimate flick will be to tell you it’s someone else’s problem. Blame the Salvation Army. Your mega-blaze brought to you by Kool-Cola – for quenching that thirst in the big blaze.

    So OK – how about a serious proposal about something new – government are going to provide less resources not more.

    Landholders as Bill Burrows has shown us have burnt less over the last 200 years. Adam Bandt doesn’t know and won’t be helping.

    Over to you. (and don’t worry, the boats will be back next week for some relief).

    Any really serious practical ideas in this new age of austerity besides cut and pasting Andrew Bolt’s latest anti-green rant?

  49. toby October 24, 2013 at 7:20 am #

    So now according to Gore, Abbott is in the pay of big oil and other vested interests!!!

    What a joke of an interview…I suppose we should be grateful crabb at least asked him to confirm this conspiracy!

    What exactly would he have us do?

    I notice baz and luke have not responded to the question either…….but are still happy to have abbott and the liberals blamed for making the fires worse etc. Complete crap and these obvious mistruths are why their movement has gone backwards……and it is crap luke and baz, the carbon tax hasn’t even been removed yet and you are blaming him…….pure unadulterated bullshit.

  50. cohenite October 24, 2013 at 7:36 am #

    As to back-burning and hazard reduction in Victoria before the coalition won in 2010; less than 1%:


    NSW before the coalition won in 2010; about 0.4%:


    Tasmania under the Greens, zilch:


    Contrary to what luke says, the Greens are the issue.

  51. Neville October 24, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    Well Luke as you say let’s not hold things up, so tell us your answer? Is it much more fuel reduction burning or what?
    But whats the problem about telling the truth? Not my truth but plain unvarnished facts on co2 emissions.
    Just a few more facts for you to understand. From 1990 to 2011 China’s emission increased from 2.1 bn t p.a to 8+ bn t p.a. That’s about a four fold increase and a further 6 bn t p.a.
    Over the same period OZ emissions were 0.268bn t p.a to 0.392 bn t p.a. That’s only 1.5 times increase over the same 21 year period and only 0.124 bn t p.a increase. Check it out for yourself.
    So explain how OZ can make zip difference to bushfires or anything at all, like floods ,droughts ,SLR, cyclones etc? But please check it out yourself.
    BTW China increased emissions from 2010 to 2011 by 0.715 billion T p.a. Wakey , wakey. That’s in just twelve months.


  52. Luke October 24, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    Ah yes look at Toby go – straight back on the most relevant topic to Australian bush fires – Al Gore. Can’t leave it alone.

    As I said guys – “over to you” and you’re right back on greens and greenie bashing. Cohenite fancifully believes that green are responsible for the major changes in vegetation associations seen right across the country over 200 years. Forgive me if I missed it but I think there may have been a few governments of different colours even in the last 20 years.

    But as I said guys – don’t ask Bazza, myself or Adam Bandt – you’ve told us we don’t know.

    BTW count on 50% of the current resources long term. Efficiency dividend. Small government. Contestability. Outsourcing. and don’t forget the class actions for getting it wrong. Additional WH&S laws.

    Time to step up and show us your great leadership and insight (surely you have some).

    SOLUTIONS MODE GUYS – not whinging.

  53. Robert October 24, 2013 at 8:01 am #

    Luke is just raving now – bursting his boiler, judging by this and the open thread – but even he may be taking away a little of what Roger has to convey.

    This is a very valuable post, because many people are clamouring for mega-equipment rather than a real revolution in bush stewardship. I suggest diverting all those climate billions into real conservation; and finding ways to make forests break a bit closer to even through licenced hunting, selective timber-getting, properly designed equestrian, 4WD, dirt bike and singletrack MTB venues, paid scenic drives etc etc. (not all of it welcome to people like me, but we have to have trade-offs.) My mind is not closed on the idea of no-burn zones with properly maintained buffers, but nothing must be allowed to harbour feral dogs and cats. No dogs!

    Once we scrape the green goo from our brains, all things are possible. I don’t kid myself that forests and parks will pay for themselves, but I’ve never been a believer in user pays and mindless privatisation. We can skip all the tripe about eco-tourism and “green jobs”. We don’t need to go to the trouble of dressing up subsidy as profit. Bush stewardship will cost, but unlike what we are doing now, it will be worth it.

    Once again, well done, Roger and well done, Jen.

  54. Luke October 24, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    So no solutions from Robert either. It’s all just veneer isn’t it – a veil of green hatred but nothing of substance underneath.

    So the whole argument is simply pretentious posturing.

    Serious players here would be advocating a serious policy position. Or at least telling us who the outsourced company should be to do the contract (let’s embrace the Commission of Audit early guys) – get right into libertarian small govt mode.

    Have we discussed Al Gore yet. Surely the issue?

  55. Ken Stewart October 24, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    Luke, I think the greenbashing is a direct result of irresponsible comments by one Adam Bandt, so ably supported by many others e.g. the ABC. No the historic reduction in burning off is not all the greenies fault, but the recent policies re national parks, land clearing, vegetation management most definitely are the fault of misguided environmental concerns held by a large proportion of the voting public. The problem IS political because it’s all about votes.

    You ask for practical ideas. Livestock grazing also reduces fuel loads. Open National parks and forests to grazing is one. Mandatory hazard reduction by whatever percentage ( I reckon 18% is much too low) every year for all non-agricultural private and public landholders, including national parks, by whatever means- by hand if you don’t like burning- that’s two. Mandatory fire breaks of whatever width (100m?) around any housing backing onto bush- that’s three.

    Jen, thanks for posting this, it’s a breath of fresh air.

  56. Neville October 24, 2013 at 8:25 am #

    Poor Luke suddenly becomes dyslexic when he’s asked about OZ’s co2 emissions. I mean this is what you and the MSM have been telling us for years.
    It’s all about reducing our co2 emissions by 5% by 2020 isn’t it? This is what Gore said last night when he decried OZ’s removal of the co2 tax.
    What a whopping big flea-bite that would be? China would probably replace our reduction in a week or two do you think? And don’t forget OZ’s EEZ sequestering of 10 times our emissions as well.

    You know my answer to bushfires and that is much heavier fuel reduction burning in the cool months. IOW adaptation.
    So give us your solution and tell us precisely how it would work and over what period of time and at what cost.

  57. toby October 24, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    Luke ….where are your solutions??!!…you come to this blog to whinge whine and argue…even when you agree with points you argue anyway!

    why do we have to give a solution? are we experts?

    we do need to burn off more, we could probably use some more water bombers.

    Of course given the nature of this blog…(being sceptical of the crap that surrounds CAGW), it is natural that we are upset by bandt and the ABC et al who seem to think Abbott and sceptics can be blamed for these fires, or at the very least making them worse than they would be.

    Roger’s article provides some ideas, you probably agree with most of them and yet you attack us.

    Your ABC last night ran as you know a long interview with the goracle.

    Nearly everybody your ABC interviews blames CAGW for the fires and then tries to link it to our insane attempts to control the climate.

    Are you seriously defending the man for suggesting Abbott is in the pay of big oil?! that sums up the gist of his ability to argue his point, play the man not the facts.

    He like so many in your CAGW industry are shrills and are indeed the climate criminals if there are any….and they are ensuring that your movement loses traction not gains it.

    The greens get what they deserve, although I do not agree calling them Nazi’s is appropriate….they are however totalitarian nuts and we would be much better off without them.

    The greens do not have a monopoly on caring for the environment.

    So where are your good scientists who will speak the truth, using real facts to tone down the catastrophist noise coming from all the vocal spruikers of CAGW???!!

  58. Luke October 24, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    At the risk of incurring Jen’s wrath for allegedly baiting ….. but IMO this is a serious issue, you guys are in some sort of paralysis making sweeping generalities that are purely political. Anything to avoid addressing a real issue. Let’s chase rabbits.

    So a serious issue like fire management and appropriate fire regimes involving loss of life and property, productivity, biodiversity all you can do is come back to greens, Bandt and Gore.

    Most serious Australian ecologists are very interested in fire regimes and fire ecology. It’s pretentious to say otherwise. Bush Heritage – involved in purchase of iconic properties for conservation is very interested.

    It’s fair enough to make a point that a record La Nina growing much vegetation, fertilised as you all keep telling me with lots of CO2 (plant food!) and cured in record temperatures for time of year is just the sort of additional threat AGW represents. Yes it’s an add-on, it’s just a factor, and Australia itself cannot solve atmospheric CO2 growth.

    So Bandt has made his point. Got that and thanks (or get stuffed you greenie Nazi bastard) Let’s move on. (However can you be a watermelon and a Nazi too – might be ideologically sus) ANYWAY LA DE DAH

    Surely there is plenty to do at many levels of government, in research and practically on the ground by local groups and landholders.

    So as usual the blog moves into paralysis – unable to get into positive mode.

    Any attempt at discussing a research contribution will be dismissed as greenie commie bullshit by leftie scientists. Just get that negative mass wank rhythm up guys. Let’s get into the chant. Feel better? No?

    So we’ve had more grazing in forests – this would help in the Blue Mountains? More guys on trail bikes from Robert.

    I would think we could have remote sensing of everything that’s burnt. And at any point in time know how long since any area in Australia has been burned. Need to know something about leaf litter accumulation, terrain and fire weather. Then a system that actually monitors what has been burned when and scheduling ongoing reduction burns. But using some input from ecologists about scale. How do you come up with something that compensates for lack of man-power? All serious issues.

    Surely there are technical requirements by fire crews and fire HQ for actual major events on all sorts of fire fighting technology and intelligence (maps, GIS, fire front monitoring, fire trucks, safety systems, and real-time weather).

    But you’d have to forget about Al Gore, Adam Bandt and green Nazis to do something useful wouldn’t you?

  59. Graeme M October 24, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    Luke, it’s a blog. Not the government’s main policy think tank. We DON’T have to come up with the best practical answers, it’s just a bunch of people sharing ideas, views, opinions and so on. Some of it will be rubbish (probably most of my comments), some will be eminently sensible, and some is just the usual back and forwards.

    So if some want to comment of bandts nonsense or the ABC interviewing Al Gore, why the hell not? Who made you the moderator?

    The problem with Bandt and Gore and so on is that it infects the public mind with less than sensible views of what’s going on, and that in turn influences voting patterns which eventually leads to actual policy, because our shortsighted political system is an adversarial party based system that chases power and influence at the expense of good policy more often than is good.

    It would be much more useful if the ABC offered some good solid background facts and some solid insight, not confected activist crap. it’s the ABC for Chrssakes, not the Tracy Grimshaw Hour.

    There has been more useful intelligent background facts on this one thread than the whole of the visual media combined. But most of it hasn’t been yours.

  60. cohenite October 24, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    The abc does an overview on hazard reduction:


    The figure they give for hazard reduction/back-burning under previous ALP government of 174,705 hectares is incorrect and should be 115,000 which represents, as I said, 0.4% of the total land-area subject to bushfire threat:


    In any event neither the ALP or the current coalition are covering themselves in glory in respect of bushfire management.

    The abc analysis also says this:

    “A recent study by Deloitte Access Economics found there is greater value in measures other than vegetation-management to reduce bushfire risk, such as improving the design of houses and burying electricity cables.”

    This mirrors the Green cant about supporting hazard reduction when in fact they place burning off last before a host of other similar measures such as banning people living in the bush.

    What needs to be done is to establish a parameter of what is an acceptable intrusion into the bush as opposed to blanket statements by the Greens and supported by former politicians like Carr which basically involves removing people from nature altogether via setting up National Parks and general prohibitions on what can be done on private property. As I say this is all about the Greens and their ideology of preserving nature.

  61. Robert October 24, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    In his uniquely demented way, I think Luke is starting to get it. This is how understanding dawns in him, as alarming as it seems.

    Ken makes a good point about livestock. There are ways cattle and other animals can be part of a mix where we stop pretending to be “natural” and “green” and keep a strong human presence in the bush. Foresters, event supervisors, graziers, road crews, horse riders, fishermen, canoists etc will all be engaged and on the ground. I’ve seen how the most frequented NP, the Royal, stood up to heavy use and abuse over decades (though it couldn’t withstand the hot burns that wiped it in 1980 and thereafter.) Because of its amazing variation, it remains my favourite NP (between burns) even though it is repeatedly trashed like George Street on Saturday night. There’s a reason it was singled out to be the second NP in the world.

    I think we’ll need to draw plenty of hard lines (cars on beaches?) and we’ll need tolerance (water-skiers on Myall Lakes!) but the old green ideas are starting to really stink. Bandt’s more red than green anyway. He won’t care. Can’t wait to wear leather again and look like Vlad Ulyich.

  62. handjive October 24, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    @ Comment from: Luke October 24th, 2013 at 7:05 am ~

    A correction was made regarding your false comment about the history of the Greens. Any comment/ containing certain words attract immediate diversions about “laws.”
    That you “deny” that history is irony.

    IMO, direct action, carbon(sic) tax/ETS/CPRS are complete waste of money. Repeat, Complete.
    Equally, politicians of all stripes have let us down.

    ABC>Fox>BoltA, conspiracy theories abound = Loony Lew has a space on his couch for you.
    (rejected) Paper to follow.

    Quote: “So there’s almost a glee in chasing rabbits and constructing massive virtual battles on pretend playfields rather than actually come up with some serious new strategies.”

    Did you read post above? No “serious new strategies” needed, we know what to do.

    It is the “green thinking” that needs to change and you who “chases rabbits”. (boats?)
    Luke fails to “come up with some serious new strategies” either.
    Just continue the carbon(sic) tax and solar panel subsidies whilst the place burns.
    That we have your “precious” carbon(sic) tax while the fires burn further highlights your ignorance.

  63. Luke October 24, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    Sorry Graeme M – Jen has asked us to lift the tone. Pretty difficult with the obsession on Gore, Milne and Bandt.

    Whatever Handjive – “No “serious new strategies” needed, we know what to do.” (well it ain’t happening is it doofus and as I said greens have little real influence over the bulk of the land mass?). Obviously you’re some blow-in yank or something so go get yourself up to speed on Australian vegetation and report back eh? look there’s a rabbit behind you. Go chase that for a while – it’s a Nazi rabbit.

    So now we’re grazing the Blue Mountains, spreading heaps of weeds in National Parks across the nation and creating more management mess. Great. Having trail bikes doing jumps over FWDs while Davey Crocket bags a possum and catches a carp.

    Droving Herefords on Bells Line of Road by Robert.

    I’m sure that will all help heaps.

    Foresters? mate they went in the big purge from the Commission of Audit. The phone rang out.

    So as usual apart from green bashing that’s about it for bloggian intellect.

  64. toby October 24, 2013 at 11:50 am #


    david evans makes some excellent points…which apparently prevents the Age from publishing despite a specific request. Now of course there may be an alternative reason, but its hard to go past that these facts just don’t fit the paradigm.

  65. Neville October 24, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    Geeezzzz Luke’s as week as water. He’s the main abuser on this blog year after year and he rarely makes any sense.
    I’ve given him the sums for years and he just gets upset and throws more abuse. You’re the one who says we must DO SOMETHING but then you run for cover when asked what that something is.
    If you actually look at the co2 emissions above you’ll quickly understand that the Greens, Labor, ABC, Fairfax and Gore etc are really yapping about mission impossible. But why are these people so brainless and dumb?
    To be fair Abbott’s cheap direct action plan is clueless as well, but at least our money stays in OZ and not sent overseas by the billions $ every year to fund corrupt ETS schemes that can never, ever make a jot of difference at all.

  66. toby October 24, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    Obviously the Aborigines new a lot more about land management in oz than we did/ do…..hopefully some of them still have these skills.

    Perhaps we should start using their wisdom to manage the land and allow and also force farmers to be more hands on in managing their land ( that said I am sure they do what they can because a fire sure doesn’t help them!…but maybe new skills to be learnt?)

    Might give them something to be proud of as well and help them to gain some much needed self respect, which may go a long way to helping them to achieve a better quality of life….and others may respect them a lot more as well. Being a win win for all Australia!?

  67. Luke October 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    If you read above Neville I made some serious suggestions but you all wanna talk about Bandt !

    Incorrect on abuse – you decided that extreme ongoing abuse from your side doesn’t count. As for your sums so many of your links have now been retracted as error prone that I don’t bother reading your stuff anymore. Waste of time. And as you’ve said you’re not a scientist and don’t understand statistics so do try to be careful. On topic I think you’ll find we’re talking fire management here.


    “Climate change is real and I’ve often said that we need to do something about it” Weally !

    Greg Hunt endorses WikiPravada. ROFL.

    Anyway in terms of doing something serious we need something systematic – just leaving it to Robert’s canoeists and FWD enthusiasts is unlikely to do much in my opinion.

  68. John Sayers October 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Luke – please read the Greens Bushfire policy that I posted a link to earlier on this thread. It explains why the foresters who are attempting to hazard reduction burn are confronted by a pack of inner city Greenies chaining themselves to bulldozers and trees.
    These are the policies espoused by the heads of the Greens Milne and Bandt.

    as Rogers say in his article:

    No forester can undertake a prescribed burn in WA these days without filling in a 73-page document, running a public consultation program and then obtaining the signatures and approval of nine separate senior departmental mandarins, most of whom know nothing about fire. Finally, completed burns are subjected to a costly environmental audit which focuses on bureaucratic trivia, not fire control effectiveness. All of this, it seems to us, is deliberately designed to discourage burning and to make it harder for field staff to accomplish an effective fuel reduction program.

    Clearly the Greens and their academic followers have created this fire reduction hazard. Similarly we have the ABC where research by Southern Queensland uni showed that 42% of ABC staff vote Green which would explain why they are pushing the “It’s all due to climate change” barrow and why the bring in corrupt liars like Al Gore and let him accuse our PM of being on the take…disgraceful.

    All the suggestions put forward on this thread a excellent ideas including your own but until the Green menace is removed from anything to do with forests and fire we will continue down this road to destruction.

  69. Luke October 24, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    Come on John – where are all these national demonstrations of greenies chained to bulldozers. Much be 100s of such demos. Do go on.

    Australian Conservation Foundation on fire regimes


    WWF documents on fire regime



    Greens are vitally interested in fire ecology. Clearly you’re not – and all you are doing is disgraceful propagandising.

    Clearly some on this blog have a major mission to misrepresent policy positions of the Australian conservation movement.

  70. Neville October 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    Luke I’ve given you co2 emission history for the last 21 years, country by country and yet you still don’t understand?
    You can yap on here every day about groupthink nonsense but facts don’t seem to penetrate your thick skull at all.
    The EIA is used by every country as THE authorative source of co2 emissions, so what’s your problem?
    The simple sums I’ve presented can be understood by a child, so what’s your excuse? Amazing what the fanatical religious mind absorbs or rejects.
    I’ve given you the facts and those facts turn all your silly arguments on their head. Just go away and stop wasting our time you silly fool.

  71. John Sayers October 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    Luke – the foresters who were subjected to the protests said that MSM weren’t interested and never reported the incidents.

    Did you read the Australian Conservation Foundation article you linked to?

    Lindsay Hesketh, ACF’s healthy forest campaigner, considers that ecologically mature tall wet eucalypt forests, with lush damp understory, are more suppressive and less conducive to wildfire events, than when reduced to their denser regrowth form as a result of logging. The older mature systems display a greater resilience to post fire impacts giving them the capacity to recover quickly after wildfire events.

    “Previously logged or re-growth forests exhibit a higher wildfire propensity due to drier understory induced by logging disturbance and fuel reduction burning. They are therefore more susceptible to creating destructive wildfires, such as highly destructive ‘crowning fires’, due to changed characteristics including low height and increased tree density and have less resilience for post fire recovery,” Lindsay said.

    So their forest policy is to stop all logging and all fuel reduction burning!!

  72. Luke October 24, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    John has anyone ever accused you of psychological projection. I’m sure if you keep reading you’ll find something more to object to. Look forward to the photos of greenies tied to bulldozers all around the nation stopping reduction burns. I must have missed them. “Never reported the incidents eh”? mmmmmm greenies chained to bulldozers and no police called eh? mmmmmmm and no publicity by either side eh?

    Come on John – it’s a pub yarn.

    Neville try to stay on topic. I know it’s hard.

  73. Luke October 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    Neville BTW most of your emission numbers for the developed world are wrong. Surely you don’t think they’re accurate do you?

  74. John Sayers October 24, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    i did keep reading Luke and it said even more, I agree – it still supports their policy of pure pristine wet forests that don’t burn!

    “Areas most susceptible to fuel reduction burning are high conservation value woodlands and forests. The practice of fuel reduction burning in high conservation areas is deeply concerning to many conservationists who consider that a more scientifically rigorous approach to fire management is required. ”

    Luke it wasn’t pub yarns, it was stated during one of the many interviews 2BG had this week with foresters……and please don’t attack 2GB ,I KNOW YOU WANT TO BUT PLEASE DON’T!

  75. Neville October 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Well this should be interesting, so why are they wrong and what’s your source? And I couldn’t be more on topic if I tried.
    All the groups have said Abbott is a criminal or he’s on the take or he’ll regret dumping the co2 tax etc etc. Or we will see more frightful extreme events unless we fight climate change by reducing our emissions by 5% by 2020 etc. Please tell me you don’t believe any of this snake oil?
    And all this is in relation to the fires in NSW. I mean where have you been the last week or so, hiding a under a rock or something? Of course I’m on topic.

  76. Robert October 24, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    I like the idea of Davey Crockett shooting and catching carp. However, the idea is to get Davey to shoot the feral dog which will kill the possum. Hot fire and ferals. Green management! (Well it all seemed like a good idea after that third macchiato in Norton Street.)

  77. Luke October 24, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    2GB (giggle).

    John – if you knew anything you would realise that reckless burning of some ecosystems probably isn’t a great idea. The proponents are simply are after a scientific and thoughtful process to fire regimes. You object to that? Or you’d just like to ride around on one of Robert’s trail bikes chucking matches.

    Neville it’s entirely reasonable to suggest that a significant body of science suggests AGW will influence the severity of future fire events, if not already. Now I didn’t say “sole cause” so don’t verbal me. Therefore Australia needs to find a way to play a part in a global solution to AGW and support appropriate research on climate, mitigation options and adaptation. As you well know that is a vexing and complex problem. Nobody said it was easy. But if the costs start to mount ways will be found using already available technology. If you believe you have accurate CO2 production data from China, Russia and India well good luck to you. I know you love to uncritically grab anything off the internet.

    Meanwhile back at the fire grounds, a pilot has died this afternoon in a remote area undertaking water bombing runs and this is tragic. It would be wonderful if we could derive a systematic way for ecologically reasonable hazard reduction at a national scale ongoing that doesn’t need Robert’s canoeists, trail bike riders and FWD enthusiasts chucking matches.

    In another part of Australia on such a theme, this is what can be achieved by a cooperative science based approach. http://www.nailsma.org.au/walfa-west-arnhem-land-fire-abatement-project

    But I assume you’d prefer to continue discussing Adam Bandt’s tweet as the sole item of interest.

  78. Robert October 24, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    I think what makes a warmist is that lack of proportion. I mention recreation and Supercell thinks I must see it as a substitute for hazard reduction. I mention livestock and he’s got cattle going along the Bell’s Line. This is why the bloke’s a warmie and why he would have been a coolie back in the 70s. A compulsive extrapolator with no sense of proportion.

    As fond as I am of our Supe, he is exactly the type of bloke you don’t want running policy. You’s say you need to do an August burn while the weather is right and permission will come through in high summer, along with a lot of garbled preaching and pseudo-scientific advice.

    Anyway, let’s get back to bagging Adam Bandt. Have you ever seen such a malevolent dweeb?

  79. John Sayers October 24, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    “The proponents are simply are after a scientific and thoughtful process to fire regimes. ”

    Sounds good Luke but it’s really saying that those experienced foresters who have been looking after forest and fires for decades don’t know what they are doing and they need the input from lefty green academics from the city! – yeah great!

  80. toby October 24, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    A couple of very old family friends live at Potato point near Narooma in NSW. The small community is on a headland that is linked to the pacific highway by a 10 km road. One way in and out only and all state forest. They have been applying for a 100m fire break to protect the 100 or so locals and many holiday houses. They repeatedly have been told NO because casurina doesn’t burn!!

    There is no doubt that greens philosophy is dominant in many local councils and in parks and wildlife…although since the recent Victorian fires a semblance of common sense is creeping back in….but mostly because people are threatening legal action or just doing it anyway.

    Given that ntg WE do matters re co2 levels, even if you are hooked on the theory, the climate is going to do whatever it decides to do irrespective of our bleating and fighting about its accuracy or even relevance.

    So adaptation is the ONLY current pathway forward and that surely has to include adopting land management practices much closer to the those of the Aboriginals

  81. Debbie October 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    there is a VVAAAaaaaaasssssttttt difference between ‘interested ecologists’ and people like Bandt and many members of the political party called ‘The Greens’
    I also ask you once again to go look at the policies and regs that are PREVENTING sensible management of natural resources (including managing fire risks) and then ask yourself WHO/WHAT and WHICH political ideology has driven that.
    BTW. . . I am positive that all ecologists DON’T vote Green and AREN’T members of the Green Political Party.
    And further. . . the Greens (as in the political party) are NOT experts on NRM and nor do they have a hold or exclusive authority over ecological sciences.
    They have however held way too much political sway while concurrently not accepting any accountability or responsibility.

  82. Luke October 24, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    John if we have all these “experienced” people looking after areas for decades why are there still wildfires?

    Oh I forgot didn’t I – it’s the greens chained to bulldozers. Silly me.

    Couldn’t be a wider social and resourcing issue? Naaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh mate !

  83. Jennifer Marohasy October 24, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

    If any is interested in looking at maximum temperatures for Bathurst… a site very close to the Blue Mountains… I’ve plotted some data here…


  84. Beth Cooper October 24, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

    Let – us – be – kind – ter Lukey because he suffers from
    the dreaded Inquistion Syndrome.
    b -t -s

  85. Robert October 24, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    Thanks for the link and article, Jen. 1939 again! Not bad for a La Nina. Here’s a Bathurst “ancedote” regarding October, but not this October:

    “Strong hot winds, clouds of dust, and a thick hazy atmosphere continue to be the prevailing characteristic of the weather in the district of Bathurst. On Saturday and Sunday last, the smoke from the enormous bushfires raging around us in every direction, hung over the plains like a huge fog, exceedingly oppressive and totally concealing from view the surrounding mountains.”

    The Bathurst times. 19 October 1865

    It was worse than they thought!

  86. toby October 24, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    The greens are only part of the problem, Luke is right that it is also a wider social (and maybe resourcing issue). But the greens are a part that should be easy to fix!!

    many people hate burning off. I live in the yarra valley, they do burn off regularly but some areas have not been burnt for 60 years and they daren’t touch them because there is no way to do a controlled burn. However when they do burn many complain, I have to admit after a month of constant smoke and haze I have been guilty of cursing them myself! They also frequently loose control of them, also winning them no friends. But they are undoubtedly doing their best with limited manpower and resources.

    having lived through the Victorian fires recently and having embers falling on my house from 20-30 km away I know the fear of fire. Indeed it got as close as 5 km from me and I spent 3 weeks at home on my own while my family stayed with relatives. And no we did not claim the money available and were disgusted with so many who did.

    when Marysville and kinglake went up thx to a chain of friends ( many actually out fighting the fires) in constant communication we knew they were gone hours before the radio said anything at all.

    we live in a fire prone country, and the huge build up of growth due to heavy rain in the last few years will make this a very difficult summer for all.

    The local CFA reckoned that an hour more of the northerly wind and the fires would have been into the outer suburbs and given the beautiful green belts we have nobody knows just how many houses and people would have been killed.

    I don’t know what the solution is, but it has to start with limiting the power of green influence and changing social attitudes to how we manage the land….back to old aboriginal ways?

    Just don’t go suggesting that by cutting our emissions its going to have any influence on climate and fires because that just makes you into fool. And our ABC and the BBC are making fools of themselves enough for the rest of the idiots who think the carbon tax has anything to do with these fires or future fires!!!

    Roger clearly doesn’t think the main problem is resources and I suspect he knows way more than any of us……

  87. Beth Cooper October 24, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    It usually is. Black swan and turkey events are not uncommon
    in the scheme of things.

  88. John Sayers October 24, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    “John if we have all these “experienced” people looking after areas for decades why are there still wildfires?”

    You just don’t get it do you Luke! Those experienced Foresters are prohibited from carrying out their duties because of damn Green policies over riding them as everyone on this thread, including Roger Underwood, has been desperately trying to beat into your stubborn thick skull!

    Great charts on Bathurst Jen.

  89. Beth Cooper October 24, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    Er that was a response ter Roberto.

  90. Robert October 24, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    toby, if our Green Betters really can dial back the climate by sending money to villains, let’s hope for Victoria’s sake they don’t dial it back to 1851.

  91. cohenite October 24, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    luke needs to read this from front to back and then look at some of the enforcement examples of it:


    That is just a small part of the Green intrusion into the governance of this nation. A pox on them anyone who defends the b…..ds.

  92. Neville October 24, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    Luke I thought you’d be caught short. What a wimp, let’s face it Luke until I linked to the EIA co2 emission record you didn’t have a clue, did you?

  93. toby October 24, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    Thx for that link Robert, my goodness that would have been scary!…indeed let us hope the clock doesn’t get wound back to then!!

    “Thursday February 6, 1851 was described as a day of extreme unpleasantness for everyone in Victoria, the north wind was so fierce that the thick smoke reached northern Tasmania, turning day into night. The 1851 Black Thursday bush fires were when the hills were alight to the Alps themselves – a frightful day as the temperature in Melbourne rose to 47degrees centigrade (110 degrees on the old scale) at 11 am. Melbourne Town was in grave danger of destruction by encircling bush fire.”

    on our black Saturday in 2009 I was due to play cricket and I set out in my car and stopped to get some cold drinks. As I opened the car door it felt like I had stuck my head in an oven with the fan on full, the wind was fierce and my car said 47c, the skies were already full of smoke although at that stage not as bad as “black thursday” sounded at 11 am . I actually nearly fell over laughing at the prospect of trying to play cricket.

    (I got to the cricket ground to find it empty because cricket was cancelled and many were out fighting fires or creating firebreaks).

    as disastrous as those fires were, we were very lucky they were not a lot worse. I am not religious but I pray to “the gods” I never see anything like it again. This year is not looking good.

  94. toby October 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    Nev, Luke is probably correct to question the co2 data from countries like india and china. All date from those countries should be treated with great mistrust. But its unlikely that they are over stating their emissions, I would have thought? far more likely they are understated?

  95. toby October 24, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    sorry should read all data should be questioned from china and india!

  96. toby October 24, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    sorry my prior comment has “gone”..i was suggesting to Nev that Luke is probably correct to question co2 data from countries like china and india. But far more likely they are understated than overstated I would think?

  97. John Sayers October 24, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    2GB (giggle).

    you couldn’t resist being childish could you Luke. 2GB has had comprehensive coverage of the NSW fires, they’ve had reporters at RFS, in major towns like Bell, Bilpin and Springwood in the path of the fires, they’ve interviewed Foresters, Firies, Mayors of fire prone districts, Barry O’Farrell, the head of RFS etc. but hey, you stick with the ABC and listen to Al Gore and Tim Flannery.

  98. hunter October 24, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    Fire those who have imposed bans on thinning out bush, especially near human habitation.
    Maybe even sue them, if bad faith is shown?
    Clear out the enviro extremists who leech off the public by infesting civil service and put in more people who actually use the land- ranchers, farmers, foresters, etc.
    For starters.
    It would be nice if the free nations stopped forcing tax payers to pay for parasite lefty/enviro extremist media like ABC, BBC, NPR, etc. that are devoted to inflaming and misrepresenting enviro and climate issues.
    But I am an optimist.

  99. Neville October 25, 2013 at 6:26 am #

    The Bolter rips apart Flannery’s latest BS report on the NSW fires in one easy to read FACTUAL column. Go Bolter.


    Of course their ABC, Fairfax, Greens etc will lap up Flannery’s nonsense with gusto and do their best to decieve everyone.

    Toby the under estimate of China, India emissions is well understood. Thanks Jen for that info on Bathurst, have emailed it around my contacts.

  100. Neville October 25, 2013 at 6:49 am #

    Just thought I’d refer back to the EIA info on OZ co2 emissions. The last available year in the record is 2011 at about 0.393 bn T p.a.
    But the previous year 2010 was 0.423 bn T p.a. And the previous 5 years averaged about 0.420 bn T p.a.


    Just amazing the BS and lies we’ve been told about our co2 emissions over the years in the MSM. But to drop 0.020+ bn T p.a. on the average over the previous few years is interesting.

  101. Neville October 25, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    A bit of lateral thinking from Bolt. A sort of reversal of fortunes for Flannery. But ya gotta laugh.


  102. bazza October 25, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    That Bathurst data needs to be used intelligently where angels fear to tread. There was once a miner called Basil who graced these pages for a brief period and he loved to push his desperate cause by exploiting spatial variability and what I thought was the well known view of the last century in NSW as a game played in two halves. Communities can do a lot to adapt if they are not irresponsibly misinformed by Prime Ministers and prattlers about the changing bushfire risk whether it be from climate change or other factors. It is not just about max temp trends it is about curing times over months, shorter winters reducing opportunities for controlled burns etc etc. Here is what I wrote here for Basil a couple of years ago.
    “Basil, I think you are contesting the conclusion that “New South Wales is becoming hotter and heatwaves will become more severe.” That is a generalisation about the current climate and a future extreme. It has nothing at all to do with what happened at one station – a sample size of one. Even digging out one station that had higher temperatures back early last century does not allow you to make any statements about the future for that one station or any other. You are simply exploiting spatial variability. Even Jen said “If Professor Steffan and Hughes are going to make statements about temperatures trends they have an obligation to consider all the instrumental data that is available”. ( true, she was talking more about the period used). You would not make inferences about mine safety from one sample that supported your hypothesis, whatever it is. Further you have ignored Nicholls work on the changing relationship between temperature and rainfall which invalidates naïve conclusions on earlier data. If you want to “prove” (your word) that NSW is not becoming hotter and heatwaves will be less severe, standby for the Nobel Prize.”

  103. Luke October 25, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    Jen’s analysis also focussing where it does misses the obvious record winter and spring temperatures (not in 35C summer!)

    BoM clearly puts Sept 2013 as a new record

    A more serious representation of the facts on AGW influence

    So is the FFDI Forest Fire Danger index increasing over time – clearly YES !

    Bolts’ predictable sophistic response is just the sort of pseudo analysis that cons the gullible like Neville (face it – he’ll paste anything). Fancy expecting an exact comparison with the atmospheric sounder on UAH and the ground climate stations. Good lord ! What misdirection. Any serious independent analysis of climate station data in Australia would put the last 12 months a standout. As I’ve said – the sceptics should have had a serious national spatial analysis using all data by now and cease cherry picking.

    The drying trend in Australia is obvious for anyone undertaking serious analysis not trying to smear over the facts. Decadal scale anomalies over southern coastal Australia (includinG SW WA) are lowest on record.

    Bolt didn’t show http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/index.shtml#tabs=Tracker&tracker=timeseries&tQ%5Bgraph%5D=rranom&tQ%5Barea%5D=vic&tQ%5Bseason%5D=0305&tQ%5Bave_yr%5D=0

    Why is this happening – http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00035.1

    Time for sceptics to stop playing games !

  104. toby October 25, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    NSW has clearly had a very warm few months which have undoubtedly added to the danger of more fires. The world has warmed, although not apparently on a global scale for over 15 years.
    The point Bazza makes above is very valid, shorter burning off periods reduce the potential for burn offs, but the very wet few years also adds to the fuel available.

    While Luke can throw around his usual “Time for sceptics to stop playing games !” he really needs to look in the mirror. More games are played by the “other side”.

    Sceptics are not the reasons for the fires and the ABC et al pushing this point are demonstrating their ignorance and overwhelming bias.

    I certainly agree that in a hotter more co2 intensive world there will be more vegetation growing and more risk of fires when they dry out.

    BUT what would you have us do?

    the world is doing nothing and the science does not point to the C which is the concerning part of CAGW.

    A mildly warmer world is likely to bring more benefits than a cooling world….well documented

    There is no utopian temperature.

    Adaptation is the only path forward unless we find an alternative energy source or cull the worlds population…any volunteers?

  105. Graeme M October 25, 2013 at 11:47 am #



    Can someone explain something about this anomaly business? That graph uses the baseline of 1960-1990. How does that affect the graph if that period was an unusually wet one? It’s not like 1960-1990 is somehow the privileged norm for rainfall. How would that graph look if we used 1980-2010? Or 1900-1930?

    I have no idea, I just don’t quite see how useful graphing an anomaly can be when you use an arbitrary baseline. Personally, I’d rather see a graph for annual totals for Victoria since 1900, which I am sure I could find if I have a look…

  106. cohenite October 25, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    Anomalies from a base period only work if that period itself is ‘normal’; if the base period has features which in themselves abnormal or cover a period which is dominated by a normal climate feature at the expense of other climate features than the compared period will appear abnormal for that simple reason not any climate features which are in the compared period.

    It is a vexed issue and the stupid results it can show have severely undermined AGW. For instance you can get major variations in polar temperature which produce large anomalies but the energy from the wider range of temperature compared with in the tropics have much less radiative significance than the smaller variations in the tropics simply because there is less radiation and energy involved at the poles.

    The best anomaly is that which is compared with all the data in the range.

    Anyway Australia’s rainfall anomaly is increasing. The Summer of DFJ was not a record and so on.

  107. Robert October 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    They found some dry patches in Oz! And it’s a trend! (Well, till there’s a new trend.) It’s like that melty bit of Antarctica they love to colour red, hoping we won’t notice the “trend” all around it. (I’m no dopey, literal-minded extrapolator but, goodness, there’s been a lot of the hard white stuff down south lately, hasn’t there? I’m sure it’s more compelling proof of WTWTAGW, but it’s still a little hard to wrench it into the script, even after consulting the funny pages on Tammie and Cookie.)

    Imagine not improving our back burning and fuel reduction, continuing to abandon tracts of wilderness to fire and ferals…BUT continuing to send money into that snakepit of loathing and manipulation called, laughably, the EU carbon market. Imagine not changing policy in Victoria, of all places, after two centuries of crown fire cataclysms!

    But if something goes wrong do we blame the Greens? Yes, we blame the Greens, especially that malevolent dweeb, Bandt. (Don’t think I’ll read Luke’s links: he probably hasn’t read them himself, as usual. Let’s spend this quality time together hooking into the toad, Bandt. Let’s stay on his hammer.)

    Expatriate billions to villains but continue to expose the bush to hot fire and ferals? Our Green Betters, who manage to be wrong about everything but doubly so about the environment, seem to operate by the philosophy that one cannot incinerate an omelet without breaking all the eggs.

  108. Luke October 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    Robert – well if you want to ignore a regime shift (Cai and Cowan) and like painting your rainfall anomaly maps with Macpaint in the nursing home – don’t come round here pretending to want a science based discussion when like most faux sceptics you’re disingenuous and simply political. I know you prefer codger anecdotes to any analysis or understanding. Which leads to canoeists and trail bikes. I know you don’t read my links as real science hurts – codger yarns come easier. I guess drought plus flood divide by 2 comes out to be just right according to A Bolt.

    Myrtleford Vic – one sector burned quite hard in 2009, having been burned in 2006/7 fires and in 2003. Good luck with thinking simple fuel load reductions are everything.

  109. Luke October 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    Graeme – I see we’re back in First Grade. Use any base period you like. Use totals (click box above). Don’t do anomalies if it hurts.

    Fascinating that sceptics never complain about anomalies with UAH and RSS. Maybe that’s an actual anomaly in itself. HAHAHAHAHA

  110. cohenite October 25, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    idiot; UAH and RSS do not use a base period; they use the full range of data to anomalise each new data point. How else can you do a trend anyway unless you compare it with the other data?

  111. bazza October 25, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    GraemeM asks about anomaly base period. WMO has a standard one to stop people asking about anomaly base periods. I can only think Cohenite was having a go at you in his response. ( conspiracy theories are open-ended but rarely involve choice of base period). Anomalies are very useful for those who can see patterns where none exist, for those that cant, and for anyone wanting to eyeball a period to a standard base period, not to mention to make it a bit easier to compare events within the period in a more meaningful way to some who need all the help they can get when it comes to graphs. So using a different base period will shift all points up or down by a fixed amount. But for most data 30 year means don’t vary much. Note that anomaly in this context has nothing to do with anomalous or even anomy sometimes seen hereabouts. Hope that helps. And if you see the words 30 year normal, there are no 30 year abnormals. In this context, normal is a statistical concept relating to average.

  112. Robert October 25, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    Luke found a place in Vic where fire burned “quite hard” after previous burns. Goodness me, Supe, you have been researching hard. Knew you’d find something lame – you always do. But it’s never an anecdote when you say it. It’s science! And never mind about Bandt! Are we aware of the tireless scientific work of Lisa Simpson and Tristan Le Sueur? No, of course not! Faux skeptic codgers!

    And, being the hopeless, tragic extrapolator – on absolutely every subject! – our Supercell thinks we think “simple” fuel load reductions are “everything”. More extraps: Regimes shifts and trends last forever. If you’re older than him (which is hard, physically) you must be a drooling geriatric. If you suggest recreation or grazing in bush areas you must think trail bikes will save the environment. See what he does? He extrapolates, distorts by magnification, every single time. It’s his knee-jerk his compulsion and his number one favourite stunt (and when stunts are all you do, that’s a big rap).

    But please don’t give him any mutiplication signs. That “x” really sends him off, especially when combined with the up-up-and-away word.

    Science based discussion! You are so funny, Supe. My number one. Never go away.

  113. John Sayers October 25, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    sorry – the blue line is the median not the trend.

  114. John Sayers October 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    Luke your SE Australia autumn decline in rainfall is equally matched by an increase in rainfall in Summer. Over the year the trend is flat.

  115. Luke October 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Well Robert I can’t help it if you want to involve in myopic trivia and anecdotal codgerism and not seriously come up with an wide-spread systematic improvements (canoes – well we’ll get back to you). The Myrtleford example simply goes to point out that fuel accumulates quickly and burning needs to be ongoing to keep up. Our smokey future. Sorry if that issue is too much for you.

    JS – the world now = the Blue Mountains

  116. Luke October 25, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    “idiot; UAH and RSS do not use a base period” WRONG !

  117. Robert October 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    “The Myrtleford example simply goes to point out that fuel accumulates quickly and burning needs to be ongoing to keep up.”
    Gee, you think?
    “Our smokey future.”
    If you think you can just go out and burn the same areas constantly you obviously don’t know the bush. There are long periods when you cannot burn because moisture levels are far too high or there has been no regrowth. In my region, we have had a smoke free decade in spite of a more realistic local authority simply because it has been too hard to get the conditions. Control and back burning are tricky. Here we have good back-up from a great brigade but it is never straightforward, though it was easier with mid-winter westerlies in the nineties, provided you started later in the day and watched what you had started. No, the issue is not too much for me…but it seems never to have existed for you in your caffeinated urban bubble.

    And I’ve offered canoes instead of wide-spread systematic improvements ? Could this be more of that distortion by magnification? As in: “the world now = the Blue Mountains”? And do you deliberately garble your comments and responses so that nobody can get a hold? You know, Supe, you’ll never lose an argument because all your arguments are with propositions invented by yourself. You just attach other people’s names to them.

    Of course I did not offer wide-spread systematic improvements. Instead, I read them. They are written above, by one Roger Underwood. Don’t treat Roger like your own links. Read him.

    You are a merry type, Supe, and I am very fond of you. But, my god you can be thick.

  118. toby October 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    “JS – the world now = the Blue Mountains”…pot/ kettle? warmers around the world are trying to use this fire and others in NSW as evidence of climate change and what will happen.

    You as well!

    S.E Australia is not in a drought, but parts of it have been warm (but not here in melb where all week has been below 18 and wet…WE WANT TO KNOW WHERE SPRING IS!) goodness we even know now that the fire was caused by the army, but it still suits the meme to push CAGW as the cause. The fires in Sept were mostly a result of burning off going wrong or deliberately set alight by idiots like 11 and 15 year old boys.

    Havent bush fires actually been declining over the decade in NSW? but now we have them they are evidence of CAGW?

    Remember the physics on co2 without positive feedback (you believe in them most of us don’t and the evidence is clearly on our side!…bar your pet PETM) is likely to create far more benefits than harm.

    The only thing that should be relevant is how can we better prevent and control fires.

    Discussion of how to control the climate is as useful as worshipping to gaia for help

  119. John Sayers October 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    The irony is that we use CO2 to put OUT fires.

  120. Francis Young October 25, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    The biggest constraint on analysis is the fact that the Met Bureau has suppressed data prior to 1944 from many weather stations. This is despite the fact that many of the hottest years in many temperate stations were in the 1890s, 1920s and early 1940s. (Some station data is available through the climate data links, but is not readily available against the more accessible weather records, which often compare only back to 1997 or 1968!

    The idea of a single number for Australian average temperature, in order to claim that new heat records are being constantly surpassed, is very deceptive, and this is why.

    What the Bureau did was to average daily minima and maxima, then plot the averages of all selected stations. The problem is that most of the stations they include are urban, so night temperatures can never drop as they did before dairies, market gardens, orchards and bushland were bulldozed and concreted or asphalted. Air moving across the Sydney Basin to Observatory Hill can never cool as it once did, so increasing night temperature is guaranteed to occur. It beggars belief that they consider such a trick (to use the East Anglia term) to give a valid comparison from early 20th to early 21st centuries.

  121. Luke October 25, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    So now AGW has to be an ignition source as well (gawd!)

    Yes Robby I know fuel loads can be variable. Sigh.

    “Of course I did not offer wide-spread systematic improvements.” Yup we know. Keep working on the canoes though. Has promise.

  122. Robert October 25, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    Argues with air, and gives the air names like “Robby”.

    Thick as a bloody plank.

  123. cohenite October 25, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    “GraemeM asks about anomaly base period. WMO has a standard one to stop people asking about anomaly base periods. I can only think Cohenite was having a go at you in his response.”

    No, I was having a go at luke who says:

    ““idiot; UAH and RSS do not use a base period” WRONG !”

    WFT wrote this in 2011:

    Here are the baseline periods as reported by each source:


    Baseline period

    GISTEMP Jan 1951 – Dec 1980 (30 years)
    HADCRUT3 Jan 1961 – Dec 1990 (30 years)
    RSS Jan 1979 – Dec 1998 (20 years)
    UAH Jan 1981 – Dec 2010 (30 years)

    UAH clearly has a base line for the full range of data beginning in 1981 after their initial teething problems; the shorter period for RSS threw me until I realised their different channels had greatly varying periods of operation, see:


    The ostensibly shorter range of baseline data for RSS therefore reflects the average length of the different channels and is in effect the longest part of their data on an average basis of all their data.

    So I’m saying what I said is right.

  124. Luke October 25, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    They don’t recalculate every time Cohenite – WRONG !

    “idiot; UAH and RSS do not use a base period; they use the full range of data to anomalise each new data point” you said

    RSS- nope
    and UAH is long but not uptodate to 2013 is it

    And if you want to compare the 4 data sets say with woodfortrees you have to adjust for baseline differences (for GraemeM)

  125. cohenite October 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    Jeez luke you are being obtuse today or are you just not reading what I said; for RSS anomalies are computed by subtracting the mean monthly value (averaged from 1979 through 1998 for each channel) from the average temperature for each month for the data length for each channel. Now, did I say each channel has a varying length, some beginning in 1979 and ending a few years later and others beginning well after 1979 and continuing to the present. The 20 year base line period is an average of those varying lengths and in effect covers the whole data period.

    UAH, as I said has a base line period for the whole data length; WFT wrote his little explanation in 2011 where at which time UAH had not updated their base period for next years data.

  126. Luke October 25, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    Cohers – you rolled the dice and took a cheap shot …. didn’t pay off.

    Phone a friend just called — the denialosphere must be hurting bad over this fire business. In fact it’s gone into international melt-down. In fact little publicity may have been given to AGW if the embers had not been fanned. (LOL)

    Thanks for massive global advert guys.

  127. Robert October 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    John’s links were very interesting. When you check monthly and annual falls you realise there’s nothing too new. A bit wetter overall after 1950, with all the usual catastrophes and climate changes.

    In my area there is something which stands out. I’m presently frustrated by the spring drought – and thus spending too much time at the computer devising ways to save the planet with canoes made from super-thick planks. However, when I check our rainfall history for spring I see the following:

    No rain fell at all in September 1928. Our driest October was in 1908 and our driest November was in 1926. I take heart from the fact that the October dry was broken by a solid 102 mm in November 1908. However, not being one of the lucky ones who knows what the climate is brewing, I am perfectly aware that the 1.3 mm of November 1926 is a drought record just waiting to be broken.

    To add to the confusion, we had an excellent spring in what was nonetheless our driest year (the generally awful 1902). Our worst spring droughts – sorry klimatariat! – were in 1897 and 1926. Since those years there has been no spring remotely as bad.

    Of course, my region does not = the world. (Just thought you needed to know that. It’s actually just a part of the world, another scientific fact I thought you might need to know.)

    But will all this prevent the space cadets of climate – who really are not part of the world – from making propaganda of new fires and droughts? Ah, you see, what is spottily anecdotal when taken from long standing official records suddenly becomes “science” when it happens today – or when a senior space cadet says it will happen tomorrow, with super-cellular turbo-charging!

    Get with the space program, all you canoe paddlers!

  128. Robert October 25, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    On the subject of the turbo-charged supercellular international meltdown…oh, I give up. You do it so much better, Supe. Especially when you put in the multiplication signs. But what about that NBC map showing Australia on fire!

    The continent looks like it’s alight! Apparently, the dopey journos over there mixed up info on spot and reduction burns with actual huge bushfires in NSW. Arnhem land looks like it’s one big conflagration.

    A massive global advert indeed…for thick Seppos who think we speak Austrian down here. (Sorry, Luke. Didn’t mean to pick on thickos, but today seems to be a day for the obtuse and plank-like.)

  129. Luke October 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    I got into big trouble saying Seppo on here. Be careful Robert.

    WOLF CREEK III meets WORLD WAR Z IV – Aussies perish in paranormal CAGW fireball, drought, flood, cyclone, hailstorm, zombie shark attack, football hoons, bikie, Lebo gang, triad, spider bite, earthquake, bogan serial killer with added thingy ! (and extra apocalypse and THE BOATS)

  130. John Sayers October 25, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    Well when you’ve got the new Climate Commission’s Will Stefan announcing that the science is in and the debate is overand the peer reviewed journals confirm that our bush fires are directly linked to Global Warming as confirmed by the IPCC what do say?


  131. Robert October 25, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    Supe, can I be the bogan serial killer in your new production? I know it’s going to be supercellular x turbocharged excitement.

    Hey, with my flair for languages I could do my own dubbing into Austrian for the S***o market. I’m told Obama likes authenticity.

  132. Luke October 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    John Sayers

    Some observations – Will Steffen made a quite nuanced view of the role of AGW in bushfires. Essentially its an add-on in terms on changes in fire weather days – high heat, low humidity and winds. Analysis would say thai has already occurred.

    And unlike the weirdness of many sceptic interviews he seemed quite calm about it all. After all he’s a scientist. And he was pretty reserved when given the opportunity to bag the government despite having closed down his Commission.

    So do we have a problem with that?

    But I do imagine that he’s not going to give sceptic views any air-time simply as there is no trust now from either side. Is he up for a debate – nuh !

    Surely he is right that we should have a bipartisan science based view on matters climate. Shouldn’t we?

    Neville would be outraged that his view on the economics of adaptation are simple.

    Deriving fire weather from GCMs isn’t easy – as the mechanics of fire weather are 15-30 minute time step stuff in the field – what time of day – how hot – how humid – has the wind picked up. Fuel load, curing condition, slope. CSIRO know this well.

    However – how to move forward is the interesting problem that should concern sceptics and warmers alike. Neither side is likely to go away. The science is bigger than ever. It ain’t gonna disappear.

    Hey APEC are now in on the act (Koreans)


    http://www.apcc21.net/eng/service/6mon/ps/japcc030703.jsp (needs Java & Internet Explorer)

    http://cmdp.ncc.cma.gov.cn/pred/en_cs.php (Chinese)

    Do you think you lot are going to reign this in? Jo Nova and Bolt will hold all this science back?

  133. Debbie October 25, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    you are hilarious!
    After starting here by saying that Roger Underwood is ‘on the money’. . . You have systematically argued against all his key points.
    So Luke. . . . is he ‘on the money’. . .or not? 🙂 🙂 🙂
    And Bazza. . ‘exploiting spatial variability’. . .’normal is a statistical concept related to average’. , .very funny.
    GEEEEeeeeeeeez. . . YOU THINK?

  134. John Sayers October 25, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    Luke – you are brushing over what he actually said no matter how calm he said it.

    As Jennifer has correctly pointed out there is no additional heat, I’ve shown there is no lack of rain, the peer reviewed papers have NOT shown there is a chance of increased fires else the IPCC would have mentioned it, they didn’t.

    All he did was present a series of lies and misrepresentations, albeit it calmly.

    How can you possibly trust a scientist who is so biased, even though he claims bipartisanship. If he was truly bi-partisan he’s accept Bolt’s constant requests to appear on the Bolt report.

  135. John Sayers October 25, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    He also said there was NO international debate amongst real scientists? Pardon? what was the NIPPC report all about? agreement with the IPCC – not on your nelly.

    He said that Sweden was leading the way in cutting emissions …..really? they get 47%% of their power from Hydro, 25% from Nuclear and only 12% from fossil fuels.

  136. Robert October 25, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    Getting back to Roger and his essay and the fires:

    Abbott worked a 14 hour night shift at Bilpin, where there was plenty of action. He’s been doing these things with the Davidson brigade for 12 years. The small and not too risky fire fighting I’ve done showed me a little of what’s involved. I doubt I could stand where Abbott and his comrades stood, especially after a decade without fire emergencies here.

    The great hope is that a bloke like that must have a real grasp. He’d know wind shifts and updrafts from standing in blazing forests with eyes in the back of his head. He’d know the physical aspects as well as the chess aspects. He’s also a learner and listener, who’d benefit from the advice and example of old firies. Also, he’d know brigade politics and the human side.

    I’m pretty sure Roger Underwood’s essay will make its way somehow to his desk. Think I might get some people to kick it along. Those who want to wait for the climate to get dialled back to a mythical era of stability can do their thing (presumably they won’t be dialling in 1851, 1939, 1967 or 1983). I’ll do my thing.

    Roger has suggested how to move forward. For those who like to be convinced by studies there are a few of them about which are sensible and on the money (not surprisingly some horse-sense has been written and published in WA.)

    Let’s not get stuck in a molasses swamp of “suggestions”, where you end up with an urban green army who do great things for inner city cafes while the bush fries. Remember also that our Green Betters don’t mind the odd catastrophe. Don’t expect them to be in a hurry for real answers. Expect them to do their usual schtick of alternating malevolent ranting with kumbaya strumming.

    We need to keep the focus on what Roger has to say, and on diverting some of those Direct Action billions into useful direct action.

  137. cohenite October 25, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Steffen is now a member of the BBC:


  138. Luke October 26, 2013 at 12:12 am #

    Jen’s Bathurst temperature analysis is totally flawed. The gaol is a waste of time – heat island from bricks and differing measuring methods.

    Surely you’re not going to accept BoM’s homogenised data after everything that’s been said.

    So that leaves the airport- instead of the deceptive stacking technique – let’s just add up the numbers of days over 35C in a year and regress that. Trend is up.

    So Jen’s data set actually proves the point about warming. So much for blog scepticism. John and Neville bought it hook line and sinker.


    Hot days trend is increasing in Bathurst airport.

  139. John Sayers October 26, 2013 at 12:56 am #

    Luke – the highest maximums for all Bathurst stations was in 2006 for the year, September and October. It has been cooling ever since.

    Bathurst airport has data from 1992 – gee wiz! They’ve closed all the other stations, as usual.

  140. Luke October 26, 2013 at 1:45 am #

    Unable to read John and a stats sucker. The only serious Bathurst data set has a warming trend. Put a regression through the data set.

  141. John Sayers October 26, 2013 at 1:57 am #

    Here’s Chris Gilham’s chart Cohers as an image format so you can pass it around ….as it should be.


  142. Robert October 26, 2013 at 2:00 am #

    One can see the fire situation from rainfall in Bathurst 1865. A big January for growth then the place dried out till there was no rain at all in October. Just add westerly winds, eh?

    Really brings one back to Roger Underwood’s essay above. Kick it on to as many people as you can. We know quite enough to get a new lot of policies going, and we have that soft-centre Direct Action plan to gouge for dough in a good cause.

    We’ve copped the tip, Roger, and we’ll pass it on.

  143. Neville October 26, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    What a wimp Luke is, he makes claims about co2 emissions then runs a mile when asked to verify his claims.

    BTW that TIME mag story about the NSW fires was complete hogwash. It had to be updated after it had to change just about everything in the earlier story.


    Just proves what a joke some of the more extreme MSM journos are when they yap errant nonsense about CAGW. But Luke and his mates love it.

  144. Neville October 26, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    Because all sorts of nonsense is pedelled in the MSM about the link of co2 emissions to AGW and the NSW fires we should at least show the recent history of the human emission record.

    In 1990 USA was the largest emitter at 5 bn T p.a. By 1996 that had increased to 5.5 bn T p.a. and by 2011 that number was the same at 5.5 again. And that’s a full 15 years.
    WE know that USA emissions have continued to fall from 2011 to 2013 but those figures have not been published yet.


    Meanwhile China, India etc emissions have soared for the last 23 years and will continue to soar into the future.
    But the USA and EU emissions will have zero emission growth until 2040 according to the best projections.
    If Luke is so concerned about soaring co2 emissions and the link to our bushfires etc he should jump on a plane and spend the rest of his days protesting in China and India.

    If OZ EEZ already sequesters at least 10 times our emissions every year, he’s obviously wasting his talents here.

  145. cohenite October 26, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    Thanks John; Chris’s chart was used here:


    I think he did make a correction on it although that may have been the Melbourne figures on a later list. The guy is incredible!

  146. Neville October 26, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    More intentions to brain wash students about the NSW fires. What a joke, but we should not be laughing.


    Just think of the damage these pig ignorant fools can do to impressionable young people. These delusional religious fanatics are a disgrace.

  147. Luke October 26, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    Just analysed Bathurst Ag Station – clear trend maximums over 35 getting hotter – on ya bike guys ! What a waste of time you all are. Wonder why Jen didn’t show us that one?

    As I said the denialosphere is going off its brain about this. AGW clearly back on the agenda. Abott and Hunt backpeddling to explain themselves and tying themselves into knots. Thanks for panicking chumps – the publicity invaluable.

    I got an idea – let’s get Neville to help Abbott ! “Prime Minister – I have the ultimate paper this morning – THIS IS IT from Timsdale and Wullis – THIS WILL STOP THE BOATS AND SINK AGW”

    By morning tea “Errrr sorry PM that paper needs to be retracted as they got it wrong”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA – Neville lasts till 10:30am in PM’s office. What a career.

  148. Debbie October 26, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    After reading your comment above Luke. . . one could be forgiven for assuming that you only care about the politics of ‘environmentalism’ and couldn’t give a rat’s about the ‘real’ environment.
    But Jen tells us you have a ‘heart of gold’. . . So what gives?
    You now appear to totally disagree with every single key point that underpins Roger Underwood’s post yet you began by stating that he was ‘on the money’.
    Your crowing about free publicity is just nonsense.
    Quite correctly. . . The claimed scientific link between AGW and the recent NSW bushfires has been debunked. There is NO such link and AGW is NOT a major cause of Australian bushfires. . . so quite clearly. . . mitigating and/or controlling the climate (if such a thing was possible) is NOT a sensible risk management strategy for bushfires.
    Roger Underwood outlines what ARE good strategies and also what has PREVENTED the sensible implementation of theses strategies.
    Please take the time to read & then UNDERSTAND the key points

  149. John Sayers October 26, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    Luke – you are fooling yourself – read the comments under all these scary articles and you will see that the public aren’t as fooled as you obviously are.
    Even the comments on The Drum and Fairfax are now turning away from the Steffan style scare tactic.

  150. toby October 26, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    “AGW clearly back on the agenda.”
    oh do get real…and if it is what a disaster . There are no solutions that the world will adopt just stupid platitudes to gaia….and that’s if co2 is really a problem at all.

    So the world hasn’t warmed for 15 years or more but this event is now proof of CAGW. you fool

    The last thing we need is desperate warmers grasping at straws to bring back CAGW.

  151. Robert October 26, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    As a complete skep, I don’t really care if we are getting warmer or cooler right now. I’m sure it’s one or the other. Interesting article from Jen there about how hot it got around Bathurst in the later 19th century. Schematic with number of hot days is handy. Like all stats, tells a tiny bit of a story. Was it the bricks, stupid?

    “The denialosphere” are mostly at work, relieved the fires have settled and hoping cricket will fill the footy void if they give beer a chance. (Me, I wait for rain and torment Big Posh Green as the super dwindles…but that’s just me.)

    Apparently there are some earnest types who want to line the hills with whirlygigs and send as many billions as poss to some well-oiled eels (or well-heeled gargoyles?) in Strasbourg or Brussels. In return they…hmm, don’t know what we get in return but if our power gen costs soar we’ll have to make more CO2 by burning down the bush. That can be arranged!


  152. Debbie October 26, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    Yes I agree Robert,


    And PLLEEeeeeeaaaaaassssssee stop pretending it has much of anything to do at all with AGW and also PPPPLLLEEEEaaaaaasssseeee stop attempting to use the bushfires as a political football.
    I think the current political commentary on the bushfires (particularly by those who are attempting to claim a direct and major link to AGW) is rather disrespectful to the spirit of Roger’s post and also to the people who have lost their livelihoods (or lives) in Australian bushfires.

  153. Neville October 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    More bias and corruption by omission from their ABC.


    They want to flog their belief that increased co2 is the cause of hotter earlier fires rubbish as hard as they can.

  154. Luke October 26, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    Oh pullease – Roger has simply told you the nation needs an appropriate fire regime. A variety of current stakeholders in the issue are fire-o-phobic. So for this he’s on the money. Somehow most of us know that.

    Any other detail on breaking through that many land managers and fringe dwellers that don’t like fire zippo.

    Ability to undertake a systematic burn – zippo. Resourcing – zippo. Detailed discussion of fire types, vegetation types, equipment, fire drivers – zippo.

    Your ideas – trail bikes and canoes.

    Don’t make me laugh.

    Of course there’s an anthropogenic influence if you don’t doctor Bathurst data in an analysis.

    Get the best data set available and calculate the the temperature trend days greater or equal than 35C. I did this morning with Bathurst Ag Station wasting more time checking up on your bunkum. Hotter extremes getting hotter and more of them is bloody obvious without adding in this years data even. Fancy having the temerity to quote a known flawed measuring site like the heat island Bathurst Gaol with it varied thermometer locations as something serious.

    I spit on your collective systems analysis of trivia, spite towards the conservation movement and science. What a pathetic showing by the sceptic intelligentsia.

    Neville shows a credibility-free twit he is quoting paid shock jock columnists like Bolt. As Will Steffen said – NOBODY is denying previous fires. They themselves are an object lesson. But fire research has worked out that fire weather is critical to peak blaze spread and intensity and curing of fuel loads. Guess what the data and science show. FFDI is up.

    Neville you are fraudulent denialist creep for having the cynicism to spread sophistic trash – not even the credibility to quote anything from CSIRO or Bushfire CRC work. You are a pig ignorant consumer of propagandist climate porn from denier blogs. Get some decency.

  155. Robert October 26, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    Whoops, we unleashed a Supercell! It’s like some awful computer game, isn’t it. Now with added spit!

    Anyway, while we wait for Dr Lisa Simpson to conclude her research – she will be amazed at her findings, it will be worse than she thought etc etc – let’s get those WA style fuel reduction programs happening. Won’t be cheap, but it’s easier to burgle Direct Action than the EU.

    Imagine the sophistication! China, Japan, Korea etc burn our coal by the shipload while “moving toward” a two bob ETS or a better world for our kittens, we pay Brussels or Strasbourg or Zurich zillions for the right to burn our own coal at home. And this to adjust the climate!

    Now something called “science” has worked out what kind of wind and weather you need for an 1851 Vic or an 1871 Peshtigo? Damn, I don’t think “science” is ever going to replace actual science, but good luck.

    “Oh pullease – Roger has simply told you the nation needs an appropriate fire regime.” Golly, is that all? An appropriate fire regime. Simply. Like we should move right along. Must be more of that inverted comma science.

    Now Supe, Euro-sophisticates don’t spit. (Actually, they spit a lot, the grubs.)

  156. Neville October 26, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    Poor wimpy Luke gets all upset AGAIN, now I know we’re getting somewhere. Listen Luke your lack of maths understanding is a joke and your knowledge about historical co 2 emissions by region and by country etc is abysmal.

    After a few weak attempts you still can’t answer my question about fixing your CAGW problem. And here’s a hint, you never will.

    But please tell us how wasting billions $ in the EU every year ( that’s your Labor and Greens plan) to invest in bogus corrupt co2 certificates will help reduce OZ bushfires or SLR or droughts or floods or help the GBR or assorted extreme weather events or cyclones or etc ?

    We know that’s your preferred option because you’ve stated that Bandt is correct in calling Abbott an arsonist and a climate criminal. You are about as dumb as they come.

  157. John Sayers October 26, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    Luke – Here is the number of days above 35C Maximum temp for the past 10 years at Bathurst Ag.

    2012 – 2
    2011 – 4
    2010 – 6
    2009 – 18
    2008 – 0
    2007 – 5
    2006 – 5
    2005 – 7
    2004 – 18
    2003 – 8
    2002 – 3

    Please show me the increasing trend or apologize for being a lying dickhead!

  158. Luke October 26, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    John boy – sheesh …. 10 years !!!!!!!!! Fark a duck. Mate I’ll say it weally weally slowly. Get the Bathurst Ag Station data since 1966 (what’s there), sort it on temperature highest to lowest. Delete the data lower than 35C to make it easier. Graph result – temps vs dates – what do you see? A graph with lotsa points down one end sloping upwards (and without most of 2013 to make it more fun). The decade you have just listed is THE FRIGGING POINT ! Since 1966 John – don’t do a little snipptedy snip and truncate you graph my son. One might conclude hooter days are occurring. And golly could this be “fire weather”…. hmmmmm

    Now even an old anecdotal codger like Robert could do this – maybe even nifty megatons Neville.

    Speaking of nift Nev – mate if the damage side of the equation is big enough you’ll have wall to wall no waste 4th gen nuclear before you know it.

    But hey Robby – as I tell Jen (who also has a heart of gold under that bad girl exterior) don’t mistake my passion for the debate as anything personal. It’s just the dialectic. I’m not coming around to your house to job ya one. And I would like Debs to make some lammies actually. So when I tell you you’re a dickhead – it’s only a rhetorical construct.

    This will explain all – you’ll enjoy it


  159. John Sayers October 26, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    Luke – it’s like this:

    In the time since I stopped growing in my late teens, I have had nearly four decades of no growing. No, the growth isn’t hiding in my little toe or my large intestine, there simply hasn’t been any that I can measure. True, I’ve had nearly four decades of the highest level of tallness on record, but I have not grown in that time. Come on. It’s not that hard is it?
    Turtle of Western Australia

    The last 10 years are the years in question – there has not been an increase trend in max temps as you are claiming. Yes – it’s increased since 1966 but NO it’s not increasing anymore!

  160. Robert October 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    Debs, the skinny latte set from inner Brissie know where we live. Russel Brand’s frazzled hairdresser and stubble trimmer knows what happens when you cross the Posh Left.

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  161. John Sayers October 26, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    BTW – I’m not impressed by Rusell Brand – Kate did the right thing in dropping him.

  162. Luke October 26, 2013 at 5:59 pm #


    “Yes – it’s increased since 1966 but NO it’s not increasing anymore!” IT JUST DID THIS YEAR



    At some point JS you’re just into “lah la lah” mindless stupid denying of fundamentals

    AND temperature does not have to increase year after year monotonically. That’s just silly. But the trend to hotter hot days is obvious. That’s the entire point.

    Would like a little line that has an r squared of 1.0 would you ?


  163. cohenite October 26, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    luke says:

    “Get the best data set available and calculate the temperature trend days greater or equal than 35C.”

    Even the AGE can do that luke:


    The trend is below the base line. See here for more facts:


  164. Debbie October 26, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    Good Grief!
    I think you need to go back to Deltoid Luke.
    🙂 🙂 🙂
    This one is making me laugh out loud!!!!!!
    “Of course there’s an anthropogenic influence if you don’t doctor Bathurst data in an analysis.”

    That is so ironic and absolutely, hilariously priceless.

    I am also highly amused by Luke’s extremely poor attempt at dismissing Roger’s post.:

    “Ability to undertake a systematic burn – zippo. Resourcing – zippo. Detailed discussion of fire types, vegetation types, equipment, fire drivers – zippo.”

    What total nonsense Luke….total.
    Here are a few clues for you:

    First, the current approach to bushfire management is not working. Second, the current approach has been tried before and it didn’t work then either. And third, there are still a lot of people around who know all this, from whose first-hand experience much could be learned.

    The sorriest aspect is that it is all so needless. It is not as if we Australians are brand new settlers in this country, still feeling our way and guided by imported European philosophies, immature science, inexperience of the bush or impractical ideologies.

    We are not brand new settlers on this continent. Australian land managers, land owners, foresters and rural workers have been confronting the threat of bushfires for over 200 years, and wildland fire has been the subject of very high quality scientific research over the last 50.

    In conclusion, Australia does not need more helitaks, more water bombers, more infra-red gizmos or more overseas firefighters. What is needed is a fundamental change in bushfire philosophy and governance. Forest managing agencies and fire services must shift their focus from suppressing running fires to the critical long-term work of pre-emptive and responsible land management. Their job is to make the task of the firefighter easier and safer, not harder and more dangerous. Arson, Acts of God and possible Global Warming can all be anticipated and steps can be taken to minimise their impact. We know what to do and how to do it.

    Finally, I would like to return to my theme about the lessons from history. At a conference of forestry officers in Perth in 1923, the Conservator Stephen Kessell was laying down his philosophy to departmental staff. Preventing large high intensity forest fires, he said, is the most fundamental requirement for forest conservation in Australia. Kessell recognised that without effective bushfire management, no other management outcomes can be achieved.

    It’s that simple. Sadly, 80 years later, many of the people who today are responsible for conserving Australia’s forests have not yet grasped this fact. They fiddle, while Australia burns.”

  165. Luke October 26, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    What does this look like John? It’s not an ink blot test – even Robby and Debs will get it.


  166. Luke October 26, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    “In conclusion, Australia does not need more helitaks, more water bombers, more infra-red gizmos”

    WRONG – you are delusional if you think you’re going to cover everywhere with 100% compliance. And Myrtleford which you mocked me for is the sort of difficulty in recurrent loads. Add some AGW turbo fire weather and yes you will be needing some emergency fire fighting help too.

    I’m sure our PM would like to use one of your canoes or trail bikes and not his fire truck backed up with latest gizmos and intelligence.

    What old codgerism. What myopia to their own little patch.

    I can imagine Robby in charge of defence. “Yup all this high tech is bullshit – ya just need a 303 and pocket full of ammo” …. as a drone guided missile blows his head off. Yea sure Robby. We all loves ya.

  167. Robert October 26, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    We’d better be careful, Deb. Hi-tech Luke will come looking for us with his turbo-fired, super-cellular strobe sword. He’ll bring three mates with him…all called Tristan.

  168. Graeme M October 26, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    Luke: “What does this look like John? It’s not an ink blot test – even Robby and Debs will get it.

    Luke, that station has data back a fair way I think, maybe to around 1900? Given 1960-1980 is generally considered fairly cool, I’d be interested in seeing that same plot for the full range of data. Can you oblige?

  169. John Sayers October 26, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    No it’s not an ink blot Luke and it confirms what I said before – Yes Bathurst has warmed since 1960 but from 2000 it’s remained stable. In fact there were more days above 35C in the early years of this century than there were this year.

    The previous link you posted about BoM’s hotest September on record uses the ACORN data.
    So I checked the first one – Halls Creek. They claim 40.2 this year was the hottest September day on record. Yet when you examine the Old Halls Creek record, which they’ve closed and no longer use, you will find that Halls Creek registered 40.2 on the 27th of September 1917!

    You see Luke – you can’t trust these bastards because they fiddle the books, they’ve closed down all the stations that disagree with their religion so they can claim their god is omnipotent.

  170. Luke October 26, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    Graeme M – I could if I wanted to spend lots of time – would need some sleuthing – but I simply want to show that slavish devotion to Jen’s cherry pick is caveat emptor material. Given how often this sort of dross is revisited I wonder why sceptics don’t get hold of ADAM’s data and cook up a system that could map or interrogate time series. Wouldn’t be BoM’s analysis and we could stop playing games.

    Sum of $300K on sceptic programming funds have been bandied around on here. Would get you guys a lot of programming ! Especially with some pro bono buy-in. It’s a wonder Ken Stewart hasn’t done it.

    I incredibly amused how JS has moved the goal posts – oooo – the last years has been stable – yuh sure.

    In fact GraemeM – a BoM analysis shows these continental Australian views. Are we surprised – nuh !


    and on rainfall


    WHY ? How about http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00035.1?journalCode=clim

  171. Luke October 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    In fact JS and GraemeM a non-BoM friend has done a warts and all analysis of all Australian data from 1890 to right now, simply interpolating a surface for the continent each day – all data is used even if shorter runs. Very simple analysis Guess what it shows?

    Maximum and minimum are rising from 1890 to now.

    Maxima now climbing faster than minima in the last decade.

    Current 2013 position is a standout high point.

    So for me a pretty good independent confirmation that everything BoM has broadly said on Aussie temperature trends is spot on. Sceptics are wasting their time. So I’m happy for them to spend a shitload to learn what’s already known. (Go Cohenite!).

  172. Robert October 26, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    A Davy Jones anomaly map without some of that gorgeous new purple! What a let down. It’s like champagne without bubbles.

  173. John Sayers October 26, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    Luke – if the southeastern decile is as much as is shown on the chart you posted how come the same source posts this chart?


    Yes – it’s widely accepted that southwestern Australia has experienced declining rainfall.

    And by the look of that chart it’s predominantly pink with a touch of blue in the north yet the same source BoM shows this:


    ” the last years has been stable – yuh sure.”

    Yup – here’s the last 10 years Maximums.


  174. John Sayers October 27, 2013 at 12:11 am #

    BTW Luke – here’s Topher’s reply to Russell Brand.

  175. Luke October 27, 2013 at 12:44 am #

    It does not say SE Australia – it says south coastal Australia FOR April to August – which had rural industry concerned as a period of seasonal decline. (I have been pointing this out now for about 5 years). The regions are specific and the anomaly chart says that last 15 year period is the lowest on record for that region and SW WA. Wenju Cai (my cite above) gives a good explanation as to why.

    Your whole of Australia time series simply conflates a wetter NW Australia into a national picture. e.g. the average of a jog of boiling water and freezing cold water might be just right but represents neither. You can play similar games with whole of MDB and NSW time series too.

    John don’t play games graphing a few years when the annual trend is clearly upwards over time. This 2013 year will blip it even more.


  176. Luke October 27, 2013 at 12:48 am #

    Yes but Topher’s just a denialist stooge and boring. I don’t agree with Russell Brand either but he is far more amusing than you dour lot. I just posted it to shit stir you and appeal to your confirmation bias.

  177. John Sayers October 27, 2013 at 1:01 am #

    I wasn’t referring to that chart – I was referring to the decile map of Australia next to it. Decile, Australia – get it?

    Anyway here’s an interesting little chart by Chris Gillham created by examining alternative sources for temperatures. The 1800s are from a paper found from that period that lists the temps of certain NSW towns, the next temps are from a 1950 almanac that lists the temps from 1911 – 1940 – and the last is own BoM from today.


    You see, if you don’t cook the books there is no warming to worry about.

  178. John Sayers October 27, 2013 at 1:28 am #

    sorry – try this


  179. Robert October 27, 2013 at 3:18 am #

    Only big fire on my place occurred in a frosty winter while the soil was drenched from the Big Wet of 1988-9. It thrived because of my own stupidity and inexperience and because of:
    1) the species of grass (blady, whisky – with plenty of frosted bracken mixed in
    2) winter drought after good summer/autumn conditions
    3) the howling dry winter/spring westerly winds of 1990 onwards

    I remember being in Rome in winter 2005 and being amazed by the phenomenon of winter thunder up in the Alban Hills. It had been so long since I had heard or seen a winter thunderstorm! Yet two years later winter thunderstorms became a feature of my own climate, in 2007 and for the following half decade. Even now, conditions are not that great for winter burn-offs, because late winter wind is not as strong and parching as those direct three-day westerlies of the 90s. (I don’t miss ’em.)

    Too many fad-subject experts lack the scientific genes of skepticism and enquiry. Not only do the literalists of publish-or-perish academism get future and past climate wrong – many wouldn’t notice an actual climate change if it jumped into their laps and performed Aida with live elephants.

  180. Neville October 27, 2013 at 7:45 am #

    Wonderful to see a OZ PM bagging the new religious fanatics and in a US leftie rag like the WP.


    But nothing will penetrate their thick skulls. All the drivel of Bandt,Greens, Labor , ABC ,Fairfax etc urging us to reduce emissions by 5% of zip is eagerly supported by Luke, bazza etc.

    But we know that the horrendous cost of their exercise won’t reduce temps by any measurable reading at all and would just fill the coffers of liars, fraudsters, the mafia and corrupt corporations.

    But Luke doesn’t worry about wasting tens of billions $ overseas on a guaranteed con and zip change in temp at all, he’s in it because he’s blindly following his mad religious green cult.

  181. Luke October 27, 2013 at 7:48 am #


    Shows southern Australian autumn trend as discussed.

    Your http://johnlsayers.com/Stuff/nsw-1800s-2012.gif is weak as water? WTF ? different time periods? with different measuring conditions? Stevenson screen vs?? A year book based on what data revisions with what error correction.

    Just silly conspiracy stuff JS. Get the raw data and the site metadata and go through it in detail. You really have nothing except a vivid and cynical imagination.

  182. Luke October 27, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    Hush your tea party mouth Neville and stop verballing me. How about you stop being a fraudulent liar and posting trash here from disinformation sites. The sort of trash that is retracted 24 hours later. And you as a brash climate criminal are advocating for uncontrolled atmospheric CO2 growth based on ruse arguments. You won’t be getting a decline in temperature. You will be getting an increase. Humanity’s decision on how much. You can participate in that or not. So Neviile stop being a fraudulent denialist liar, making bogus framing, and give us a decent risk assessment.

  183. Luke October 27, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    Such as this new European report on extreme weather damage http://www.dnva.no/binfil/download.php?tid=58783

  184. Debbie October 27, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    except for a few isolated pockets. . . you do realise that SE Aust has recently had the 3 wettest concurrent Autumns on record don’t you?
    Where has Neville or anyone else advocated for uncontrolled atmospheric CO2 growth and since we have already exceeded 400ppm what are the specific disadadvantages of your claimed direct link to CC?
    Where is the actual proof that it’s all scary and baaaaaaaaaaaaad & we’re doooooooooomed if we don’t tax it?
    And finally. . . why do you keep dodging the key issues raised in Roger Underwood’s post?
    You have repeatedly thrown out what you must think are intelligent sounding red herrings and defended the scientific/statistical indefensible comments made by Bandt, Milne et al.
    AGW is simply NOT a major contributor to Australian bushfires and focusing on AGW will simply NOT help to manage the risks of Australian bushfires.
    Despite your dodging. . . Roger Underwood clearly outlines where we need to focus and what has been PREVENTING the sensible implementation of policy.
    Your crowing about ‘free publicity’ for CC by using the recent bushfires IMHO is bordering on irresponsible or some may even say ‘criminal’.

  185. Neville October 27, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    Luke is the liar and fraud and I’ve consistently used very simple maths to prove my case.

    It’s only about a year ago that Luke claimed he didn’t support a co2 tax at all. Now because he sees a chance to support his barking mad Green mythology he promotes Bandt’s and the left’s idiocy connecting OZ fires to CAGW.

    The totality of that support is the lie that we must have a price on co2 and that means a tax or an ETS. Of course an ETS is a tax as well.

    So we know that Luke NOW SUPPORTS a clueless job destroying tax on co2 in OZ and then the fool tells us this will mitigate our CAGW problems and somehow reduce bushfire risk as well.

    This bloke doesn’t have a clue and changes from one year to the next. Nothing Luke promotes can pass a simple maths test. Anyone using simple kindy maths knows he is a liar and yet the fool has the cheek to support Bandt etc when they call Abbott a criminal and arsonist.
    This is the quality of fraudster we’re debating here. Geeeezzzzz

  186. Luke October 27, 2013 at 9:02 am #


    Really Debs?

    Key issues from Roger? Perhaps you can explain in detail? I must have missed them? The prescription was for what exactly?

    “Where has Neville or anyone else advocated for uncontrolled atmospheric CO2 growth” well that’s what his position leads to ! Dummy Debs.

    “Where is the actual proof” oh that would be the very many science papers and reports that you’re unable to read as you’re only interested in the broad social blah blah blah ….. including the link above you as a new one.

    Bandt’s comments are totally defensible as I shown above. Why aren’t you calling Jen on her bogus temperature assessment as I have proved above?

    Why Debs?

  187. Luke October 27, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    Neville the fraud who brings rat dirt here that is retracted? WHy do you do that Neville? Why?

    Job destroying CO2 tax – what an hysteric your are?

    “then the fool tells us this will mitigate our CAGW problems and somehow reduce bushfire risk as well.” don’t verbal me matey. How long have you been a verballing liar and fraud now?

  188. Neville October 27, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    Luke you are a liar and we all know it. Just go back and check your support for Bandt when he called Abbott a criminal and arsonist.
    Don’t you even understand what that support means? I know you’re not very bright regarding kindy maths tests but now you tell us you don’t understand simple engish and concepts as well.

    Bandt called Abbott a criminal and arsonist because he wants to remove the co2 tax. Bandt etc also believe the idiocy about higher bushfire risk that they believe Abbott’s action will cause.

    Stop trying to wriggle out of your bluster and stupidity. Of course you support a clueless co2 tax and you definitely support Bandt’s comments that Abbott’s action will make bushfires worse. We know you do because you said so yourself.
    IOW your written support of Bandt is based precisely on the issue of the NSW fires. So stop denying the truth.

  189. Graeme M October 27, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    You know, I guess all I ever do when I post here is show my ignorance of the details of how things like stats work (I was utterly crap at maths and science at school) but I like following the various blogs cos I have actually learned a bit here and there and I enjoy that. But this anomaly thing really does throw me. I just don’t ‘get’ what it shows me.

    Take Luke’s latest:

    I *think* Luke intends this to show some sort of trend to drier conditions, and I won’t argue against it. I just don’t quite see how it does. When I eyeball that, I note that positive anomalies are on the whole fewer and ‘spikier’. The majority seem to cluster in the 0 to -50mm region. For the whole record.

    What that tells me is that the average such as it is offset by years in which there are unusually large falls. The average real fall looks to be clustered in that bracket around the 0 to -50mm anomaly. Or in other words, most years, especially the last decade, are sort of average. We just haven’t had so many spikes of heavy falls. But given the spikes seem to come at roughly 30 year intervals, this chart might look quite different in 2040.

    I don’t get it.

    I guess that’s why I shouldn’t quit my day job in favour of a career in climate science…

  190. cohenite October 27, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    Well Graeme at least you have a day job to quit; I don’t know about luke; if you want the trend on luke/BOM’s charts just hit the T switch:


    There has been a drying trend in some regions of Australia but overall the rainfall in Australia is trending up; ask luke about that.

  191. toby October 27, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    thx for that topher link JS, so much common sense but I wonder if brand could understand it!?

    So many stupid people around. Know doubt he is a staunch believer in CAGW, that and socialism seem to go hand in hand!

  192. beththeserf October 27, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    CAGW and socialism go together like a horse and carriage,
    or changes in intensity of trade winds with ENSO variability.

  193. beththeserf October 27, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    CAGW and socialism go together like a horse and carriage.
    and like changes in westerly winds and ENSO variability.
    and like forest undergrowth and bushfire intensity.

  194. toby October 27, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Using the term Climate criminal can only be associated with a zealot and a fool. Stop using the term or consider yourself the worst type of climate zealot.

    Neville your common sense and ability to point out the obvious has clearly got to the man.

    Now I suppose I should wait for the vitriol to be directed my way….. face to face I would demand an apology or a few minutes outside…….

  195. Debbie October 27, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    Jen’s temperature assessments are not bogus…they show a different representation and use a perfectly acceptable and transparent methodology.
    Where you’re apparently coming unstuck is that there isn’t a totally correct or incorrect assessment it just depends on how you look at it or what you want to focus on.
    I have tried to explain to you forever that stats and computer modelling are useful tools…they are not the final answer and they are always, always vulnerable to unknown variables and ranges.
    As Cohenite has already shown…a simple click on the T switch tells a different story again.
    It all depends on what you wish to focus on.
    The reason that I think Bandt, Milne , Climate Council’s et al behaviour is irresponsible is because they are drawing attention and resources AWAY from the real risk management issues re bushfires and TOWARDS what can only be described as a MINOR to MINISCULE contributing factor.
    Here is yet another example of it….I think it is irresponsible and disrespectful to behave in this manner.
    Some key phrases:
    The Climate Council report, a summary of which was revealed by Fairfax Media on Friday, found a clear link between rising temperatures and a longer, more dangerous bushfire season in south-eastern Australia.

    He said if the climate keeps warming at the current rate, the number of days of extreme fire danger each year will double by the middle of the century.

    ”That’s a worst-case scenario and we certainly hope we don’t get there. But to make sure we don’t get there we have to get emissions of greenhouse gases down very rapidly and very deeply,” he said.

    ”For us it’s very clear cut, we are seeing an influence of climate change on bushfire conditions, particularly bushfire risk.”

    BUT THEN??????

    But Professor Steffen said it was too early to determine whether the NSW fires are ”unprecedented” for their unseasonal ferocity – as has been asserted by the NSW Rural Fire Service.

    The Climate Council, which was reformed as an independent body after Mr Hunt abolished it on his second day in the job, will release the report in full next month. It collates 60 pieces of peer-reviewed scientific literature on climate change and fire.”

    I will say it again Luke…..Focusing on AGW as a MAJOR contributor to Australian Bushfires & therefore arguing that’s it’s URGENT to work on it to mitigate bushfires is what’s in your language… BOGUS!

    BTW…your linked BoM graph clearly shows the 3 year concurrent run of above average Autumn precipitation.

  196. John Sayers October 27, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    Roger Underwood is in Quadrant.


    And on Radio:


  197. Luke October 27, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    “There has been a drying trend in some regions of Australia but overall the rainfall in Australia is trending up; ask luke about that.” yup and that’s very interesting too. But not as interesting as perhaps systematic underlying seasonal drying trends where people live or agriculture is intensive.

    Yes GraemeM – very big wet spikes are fewer but big enough to drag the stats around.

    Beth “CAGW and socialism go together like a horse and carriage” Beth opines – yuh that’s why Hansen and Kerry Emanuel are Republicans – barp and thanks for playing. Nuclear energy doesn’t go well in hand with western socialism. I think I’ll take socialism over Tea Party-ism if its the only choice.

    Toby – a few minutes outside is easier. Why don’t you tell Neville to behave himself instead. Why don’t you tell him to stop verballing. Why don’t you tell him to stop spreading muck from sites and authors with a history of retraction? Why don’t you tell him to stop labelling most institutional scientists and frauds and cowards. Why – coz you’re biased. Neville’s daily non-contributions consist of the latest round of press clippings from Bolt and Nova uncritically chucked at our feet, usually irrelevant and off-topic, and then an attack on me. I just return fire. It’s how to treat frauds and grubs.

  198. Luke October 27, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    “Jen’s temperature assessments are not bogus”

    What showing a site well known to be compromised and leaving out a serious analysis of the longest site with fewest siting problems. Don’t make me laugh Debs. Jeez you’re gullible.

    “Focusing on AGW as a MAJOR contributor to Australian Bushfires & therefore arguing that’s it’s URGENT to work on it to mitigate bushfires is what’s in your language… BOGUS!” Not if it’s happening – but interview an expert of water tankers and you’ll get a dissertation on that. Debs you just want to close doen the debate. In fact it’s going to get louder. $1M crowd sourced loot to a free Climate Commission shows the depth of feeling.

  199. Luke October 27, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    Roger in Quadrant

    “What is needed is a comprehensive set of prescribed burning guides tailored for different forest types, documentation of the effectiveness of prescribed burning programs”

    Yep that’s just what some of current research might even be involved in. http://www.bushfirecrc.com/sites/default/files/managed/resource/justin_leonard.pdf

    One example http://www.bushfirecrc.com/people/justin-leonard

    Tried to discuss that above – nobody was interested. Additionally what ecologists have also been saying – all giggled at by canoe advocates.

    However – just how is Underwood going to affect an ongoing systematic national burn?

  200. John Sayers October 27, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    “$1M crowd sourced loot to a free Climate Commission shows the depth of feeling.”

    100,000 greenies giving $10 each – yeah – great depth of feeling!! Probably our taxpayer money anyway as the source was probably centrelink.

    Listen to Roger’s interview and his views about Universities, academics and bush fires. Money that should be spent on bush management is being siphoned off to academics and their computer models that contribute sweet FA to the knowledge of bushfires.

  201. Luke October 27, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    Well mate – big better showing than the ratbag sceptics party. How’s their election result BTW (snigger).

    ANYWAY PALPABLY ANGRY at Underwood’s blatant ant-green nonsense on the 2GB interview.

    Here is the bushfire policy of the NSW greens. Now listen to the interview and read this …..


    Protecting people and the bush

    Bushfire is an integral part of the Australian environment and has been for thousands of years. Aboriginal people used fire to manage the landscape of many parts of the continent. Global warming will inevitably increase both the severity and frequency of bushfires in NSW.

    Yet their destructive potential is graphically illustrated by periodic episodes of bushfire that devastate homes, farms and the bush and in extreme cases result in loss of life. A strong government response is essential to protect human life and the natural environment.

    The Greens believe that living with bushfire threat requires a coordinated approach that includes:

    planning of housing sites to avoid development in risk prone areas;

    strategically planned hazard reduction, including controlled burning, where and when climatic conditions allow it to be done safely and where it is consistent with maintaining the ecosystem;

    education and community awareness programs to reduce the incidence of arson; and
    a well funded and managed fire fighting service which can protect human life and homes and contain the spread of fires.

    While recognising that controlled burning is only one form of bush fire risk reduction, The Greens have not been responsible for restricting its use. We are committed to an effective and scientifically based approach to hazard reduction, which takes into account the needs of both the human and natural environments.

    The location of residential or rural residential development in high bush fire hazard areas increases the level of threat to people and their homes. This is not economically, socially or ecologically sustainable. Development should not be permitted in identified Bushfire Prone Areas, where such development is likely to endanger lives or property or involve substantial protection and suppression costs, including loss of environmental values.

    The Greens support:

    funding for the development and implementation of state-wide community and school education programs in the prevention of fires (particularly bushfires);

    funding for research into arson, anti-arson education and early intervention programs;
    resources and adequate training in ecological principles and effective bush fire management to all fire fighting personnel; and

    the prohibition of development in areas where it would be difficult or dangerous to protect dwellings from bushfires.

  202. Robert October 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    It’s not just canoes I like, Supe. I also want more of those pedal boats. Family groups will adore.

    Hey, did I mention my pet hate of timidly formed fire trails? We need dozers and excavators, not for wider roads but for pointier roads with huge drains. Greenies think that’s bad. As in all things, they are wrong. Low, flat roads with piddly drains cause EROSION, big time. If you make a road, do it with contours, rollovers and drains out to buggery. You will change the shape of the land over a small area but your work will be stable and will not cause EROSION. Maintain all that well and you have a firebreak thrown in for the money. Don’t pat the bush, love it with action.

    So, pedal boats and heavy road machinery…What else do I like? I like immediate action on fuel reduction, ignoring the diversionary tactics where we agree and then say “however” and “moreover” and “I was already into all this before it went popular and mainstream with this Roger Underwood dude” and “I was into fuel reduction when it was just an obscure band playing in Erskineville pubs”.

    Roger is easily the best Underwood since Derek. Let’s keep the emphasis on his article and kick it along.

  203. bazza October 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    Truly bizarre to hear all these references to socialistic carbon taxes when the world can thank the Republicans and Bush senior for discovering and popularising the free market advantages of cap and trade schemes (as applied to acid rain) back in 1990. But then they called it cap and tax and it sounded bad.

  204. John Sayers October 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    Luke – that’s not the Green’s bushfire policy! – This is the greens bushfire policy (that I posted earlier in this thread and you didn’t read!)


    22. When applying the guidelines for development in bush fire prone areas
    under the Australian Standard Planning for Bushfire Protection
    assessments must ensure that the requirement to clear vegetation is
    kept to a minimum where alternative engineering solutions will provide
    the required fire protection;

    23. The establishment of an ongoing research program into the ecological
    effects of bush fire, with the objective of ensuring that fire management
    programs are compatible with ecological sustainability and the
    maintenance of biodiversity;

    26. Ensuring that all bush fire hazard management works proposed under
    bush fire management plans are prepared using the best available
    data, are available for public comment, and are adequately assessed
    to ensure that proposed works and prescriptions are ecologically
    and appropriate for implementation with an appropriate
    audit and compliance program.

    and there’s more!!

  205. Robert October 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    Hey, bazza, I’m with you on that last one. The present Carbon Bubble, for example, is enriching villains of every political ilk. It’s loved by stock-jobbers, shills, touts, spivs, pimps, skimmers, scammers and cut-purses of all varieties and nations, regardless of how they vote. A Rainbow Coalition of Concerned Pickpockets!

  206. bazza October 27, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    Robert, some actually learn from history. Others just mine it to find bits that fit their agenda.

  207. Robert October 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    bazza, I’ll really watch out for history miners who only think boosting and scamming are naughty when the other guys do it. Thanks for the tip off. I remember the damage from the Silver Bubble in ’80. Those Hunt Brothers were Republicans.

    Imagine what these current rogues up to, trading in a fragment of thin air! It may be the doltish Green Left doing most of the spruiking, but don’t be surprised to find conservative snouts in that trough.

    Can you believe that there are Aussies who think the EU is a haven of probity, co-operation and sophistication? I suppose they’re the same ones who utter on cue those magical words of persuasion: BIG BUSINESS IS ON BOARD!

  208. Debbie October 27, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    John beat me to it re the Greens policy !
    It’s previous policy and current implementation of their previous policies that are relevant. Again I ask you to please go look at the policies that have PREVENTED sensible management and from whence they came.

    But just to help you answer this question:
    “However – just how is Underwood going to affect an ongoing systematic national burn?”

    First look at Underwood’s clear articulation of one of the major OBSTRUCTIONS to sensible bushfire management:

    “The big change is that bushfire management has moved from the business of land management to the business of politics. In the business of politics, history, science, practical experience, wisdom and logic seem to count for nothing.”

    Then look at his summary of the overriding principles that are needed to allow the necessary action and which is also an answer to your question:

    “Forest managing agencies and fire services must shift their focus from suppressing running fires to the critical long-term work of pre-emptive and responsible land management. Their job is to make the task of the firefighter easier and safer, not harder and more dangerous. Arson, Acts of God and possible Global Warming can all be anticipated and steps can be taken to minimise their impact. We know what to do and how to do it.

    In my opinion, until the voice of the bush is heard more loudly than the voice of the urban greens and impractical academics this situation will not change. We will continue to be unable to expose the policy vacuum, the flawed ideology, the lack of leadership and incompetent governance which characterise the current approach to bushfire management in this country.”

    So…according to Underwood…It’s not rocket science Luke…in fact the current problems we are facing re bushfire management has nothing much to do with science and technology at all.

    You know what? I fell over and sprained my ankle when I was feeding my chooks yesterday. It bloody hurts and I’m ticked off! Can I blame Climate Change and CAGW for that too? I have seen how it could be done via the linking to Australian bushfires. If I call Abbot a ‘climate criminal’ I might even get some media attention for my cause.

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    And Bazza….that’s a valid comment about learning from History…but you do realise that it isn’t at all a one sided or perhaps a ‘one winged’ behavioural pattern don’t you? And what has American Republican politics got to do with current risk management policies for bushfires in Australia? Maybe you need to re read the post by Underwood?

  209. Beth Cooper October 27, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    Yes Debbie and others, and mining history sometimes means
    chuckin’ slabs of it down the mine, acka memory hole.

  210. bazza October 27, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    Deb, Republican politics matters because they are a major obstacle to global action. So I am hopeful given even extreme rednecks were able to recognise the advantages of a cap and trade scheme for acid rain in 1990.

  211. Debbie October 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    Global action on what Bazza?… managing Australian bush fires?
    No offence Bazza…but the Yanks have their own problems re bushfires…their sequoia forests behave similarly to our eucalypt forests and their management policies have suffered from similar problems to the ones that Underwood outlines above.
    Cap and trade for acid rain doesn’t have anything to do with Aussie bushfires Bazza…and again….AGW HAS PRECIOUS LITTLE TO DO WITH IT EITHER!!!!
    Controlling the climate (even if that is possible) will have no effect on mitigating CURRENT bushfire risks and it is just plain silly to try and argue that it does.
    And just curious Bazza….what’s an ‘extreme redneck’?

  212. Robert October 27, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Never forget that the great pioneers of cap-and-trade,who were all over Bush senior for their so2 scheme (Enron had a lot of gas to promote!), were later all over Clinton and the EPA through the Nature Conservancy. From an internal Enron memo, quoted by The Washington Post, the Kyoto treaty would “do more to promote Enron’s business than almost any other regulatory initiative outside of restructuring the energy and natural gas industries in Europe and the United States.”

    Then Enron were all over Bush junior!

    I don’t aspire to be one of the smartest Guys in the Room – redneck or not, I just don’t wanted to be one of the dumbest.

  213. Luke October 27, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    If AGW as picked up in the USA by the Republicans it would all be over now. Solved by wall to wall nukes.

    As MIT’s Kerry Emanuel infers, the that solution would be probably well obstructed by the environment movement, some poor technical choices and a good helping of public fear.

    In another universe it’s the greens and democrats saying AGW is a hoax to spread nuclear technology. And the left are the deniers.

    “Rocket science” well Debs I disagree – there’s a lot more in it than meets the eye and how to do it well. Economically, efficiently, safely and ecologically. I really don’t see Roger Underwood or yourself offering much except the system is crap – we’re all to blame etc. Yep we know – so the next step is ….??

    At least Robert has moved onto whoa-boys, and snig tracks on contours which is a step up from canoes.

    I think Bazza might be just teasing you a tad on history. Obviously he went to some posh school and from a posh suburb – probably Sydney North Shore. Probably did fencing but not with 4×2 – more like parry and thrust !

    George Santayana “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”

    History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon. Napoleon Bonaparte

    “We learn from history that we do not learn from history” Hegel

    Debs asks “And just curious Bazza….what’s an ‘extreme redneck’?” – NSW rice growers ?

  214. Luke October 27, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    Just found a movie of Robert in his native mode.

    and would Robbie give this bloke the tick

    (even though he doesn’t have a canoe). Must be NSW lingo to say roll over cross bank and not whoa boy? Robby?

  215. Neville October 27, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    Just to prove what fools Luke and bazza are have a look at this link from the Bolter.


    This time 12 months ago snow fell in the Blue mountains and it snowed as far north as the granite belt in Qld.
    You can read the link to the ABC report where it states that 15cm or about 6 inches fell over the BM and the storm caused electricity to be cut from about 450 properties.

    So this Oct it’s proof of CAGW but last Oct it’s just bloody snowy wet and cold weather. Duh. Of course neither WEATHER events are proof of anything, except the fact that we can have very changeable, dangerous weather here in OZ.
    And sometimes it’s just a pain in the backside like some of the alarmist comments from the barking mad lefties.

  216. cohenite October 27, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    luke is in fine fettle, misquoting green policy as if they do what they say and are incapable of lying; this green characteristic has been picked up here:


    I have also given luke a link to the NSW Native Vegetation Act:


    This basically makes it an offence to mow lawns. Anyway the greens are wonderful and are truly kind and tolerant people.

    A post from 2009 here had a good insight into how bushfires do better in the absence of hazard reduction; in other words bushfires do better in a green environment:


  217. Luke October 27, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    Vandals like Cohenite by nature ecological ignorami having cleared most of NSW of vegetation want to keep going. Luckily we know how his party of codgers, geriatrics and creeps are unelectable and unreprentative swill.

  218. cohenite October 27, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    That’s not true luke; as I sit here now chuckling at your little outbursts I am looking at several trees I planted. As for being unrepresented swill there will be more elections and as I said before if Palmer had not directed his preferences to Sarah Two Dads and instead given them to us we would have a senator in parliament now.

  219. Robert October 27, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    Didn’t want to use the bandwidth on Luke’s videos. They tend to be lame. Or featuring his mates Tristan, Tristan, Tristan and Tarquin. (Luke is like the chick you sent to the video store and told to definitely just get a western and a thriller…so she came back with Brokeback Mountain and Smilla’s Sense of Snow.) But let me know if they were any good in your opinion, Supe, and I’ll put them on the Russel Brand list…under Sunsilk Boys.

    Meanwhile, there’s a lot of regrowth out there, and I know from the fifteen years post 1989 that fire conditions can get a whole lot worse than we’ve had lately.


  220. bazza October 27, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    From kindy history to kindy stats. NSW spring max temps 2000-2009 from BOM, all above average until along came most extreme La Niña for a century to add record fuel . 10 heads in a row is a 1,000 to 1. Records for daytime max temps are being broken at 3 times the rate for extreme cold records. If you cant see the trend for the trees you must be into racket science. So any sort of a risk manager would not go tripping over the truth and begin to think there is a good chance the climate-related bushfire risk is increasing.

  221. Debbie October 27, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    So Luke?
    Why would NSW rice growers be Bazza’s definition of ‘extreme rednecks’? Especially since it seemed to have something to do with American politics and Republicans?
    If you want to answer questions for Bazza. . . can I respectfully suggest that you at least pay attention to context?
    I would be far more interested in you explaining why you insist on defending what is indefensible. Especially the stupid ‘climate criminal’ crap.
    And re the ‘rocket science’ . . . . howzabout you supply some evidence?

  222. Debbie October 27, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    BS Bazza. . . BS!
    Controlling the future climate (even if that’s possible) is NOT the answer to managing CURRENT Aussie bushfire risk.
    Whether there is a human signal in any temp trend is MOSTLY IRRELEVANT re CURRENT bushfires.

  223. Robert October 27, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

    I presume our Green Betters think we should stare at the current risk from high fuel loads, pretend it’s a particularly well-shaped navel and wait till they have arranged a better climate through their banking connections? As a full-on skep I don’t care if we are warming, cooling or pausing. But I care about what can happen in any era when you leave enough fuel lying about. Remember, Chicago/Peshtigo occurred in mid-autumn at a high latitude in 1871. However, conditions were horrific and fuel levels catastrophic. The fire did NOT read the rules. Also, no phoenix rose from those flames. Near Peshtigo, there was NO forest regeneration for a quarter of a century. Some areas never regenerated.

    They tell me the 70s were some sort of cooling or pausing. Wouldn’t know, don’t care. Superficial fluff. I do know that NSW had its largest bushfire in 1974-5, with 3,755,000ha burnt, 50,000 stock lost and 10,170km of fencing destroyed out west. The perimeter of one fire was 1,000km. THIS ALL OCCURRED NOT AFTER BUT IN THE HEART OF THE 1973-6 EXTENDED LA NINA! Please stop talking loosely and with juvenile literal-mindedness about ENSO. Let’s just tidy up the fuel loads, okay?

    And the more they distract us from what Roger Underwood has to say here, the more emphasis we should give it.

  224. Debbie October 27, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Yes Robert. . . exactly.
    Luke & Bazza do need to read what Roger Underwood has said with their blinkers OFF!

  225. Luke October 27, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    Maybe you can explain it Debs as we don’t get it. What the big take home message.

  226. Debbie October 28, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    I will make it simple for you. . . although I can’t believe you find Underwood’s work difficult to understand.
    When working in the NRM space (in this instance managing bushfire risk) there is a desperate need to focus on outcomes and to be aware that our climate/weather/environment while not our enemy is definitely not our benign and delicately balanced friend.
    We need to use and build on what we know works and STOP obstructing that.
    History teaches us that the WORST AND MOST OBSTRUCTIVE natural resource managers are centralised bureaucracies.
    Re bushfires. . . they are dangerous, destructive and deadly. . . people need to be taught that the Aussie bush can turn on them in a heartbeat. . . they need to listen to people like Underwood & Gammage et al who know how to implement sensible & practical bush management strategies. As he clearly states we need to make it SAFER & EASIER to fight and contain the threat of bushfires NOT MORE DANGEROUS AND HARDER!!!!!!
    And finally. . .from me. . . calling people ‘climate criminals’ is merely politicising and polarising the community and creating NEGATIVE outcomes and a sure fired way to FURTHER PREVENT the implementation of sensible NRM policies.
    It is purely POLITICAL behaviour and has NOTHING to do with helping people who work in NRM to implement practical workable management strategies. While all that noisy crap goes on. . . focus and resources are being diverted AWAY from what needs to be done.

  227. Neville October 28, 2013 at 7:48 am #

    Deb and Robert you forget that you’re arguing with the biggest dummies ever on this blog.

    Just a tiny list of their silly beliefs——

    They believe that Abbott is a climate criminal and arsonist. Well Luke does, I’m not sure about bazza.

    They both really believe that OZ can do SOMETHING about their CAGW. You know reduce our co2 by 5% by 2020? Yes they are dumb enough to really believe it. Just proves the problems of exposing weak minds to religious fanaticism.
    They both ignore very simple kindy maths or can’t understand SKM, one or both.

    They both have little interest in understanding or even a slight interest in the planet’s human co2 emissions at all.
    In fact when I link to these problematic numbers ( for their case) they either ignore them or try to infer that they are somehow bogus and not accurate. Tell that to all the countries involved in compiling these co2 levels and future estimates.

    Laughably these fools rave on every day about the critical need to reduce emissions, but when directed to the actual numbers they just look away or make absurd assumptions.
    This is the most accurate assessment of a religious fanatic. I’ve watched many debates on different religious beliefs and the fanatic always displays an ability? to look away and never ever lets facts hinder his/her argument.

    Of course they’ll also just make up things as well. Like Mary is the mother of god or she died a virgin or Jesus didn’t really have brothers and sisters, they were really his cousins or when Jesus died the graves of the saints opened up and these saints walked around Jeruselem for a period of time etc etc. I could go on and on about the other religions as well.
    In fact despite all the evidence some people will believe anything. In fact ignoring the facts about co2 emissions levels displays more pig ignorance than some of the Christian beliefs I’ve listed above. Why, because the facts are provided giving the best forecasts to date and today we should be literate enough to understand these simple numbers.

  228. Luke October 28, 2013 at 8:08 am #

    Bazza – it seems Neville believes in uncontrolled CO2 growth in the atmosphere and although the nation being on the receiving end of episodic and will be intensifying (if not already) tropical cyclones, droughts, floods and bushfires that we will be telling the global community “that we’re special” and won’t be needing to assist with problem at any level. Following our example I guess every small country, state, county and shire will do the same. So in Neville’s widdle brain he’s drawn a ring around Aus and written “we’re special” on his 1940s school atlas map. Oz in Commonwealth pink of course.

    I wonder why Neville doesn’t understand the higher you raise the number the higher the number is. After all in kiddy maths – I would have thought that the idea of a bigger quantity came before addition. But Neville is looking for reductions presumably ignoring inertia and transient conditions. But hey lets not get all sophistimuckated.

    I see Neville’s back to verballing again. He’d do well for a police job I think.

    Anyway you were right – sceptics are idiots – http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2013/10/talking-to-contrarians-why-do-you-do-it.html

  229. Luke October 28, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    So Debs exactly what is being prescribed. I don’t get it. You need to explain what it means. It’s completely unclear. He’s saying we need to do something but what’s that?

  230. spangled drongo October 28, 2013 at 8:19 am #

    We have just spent a week dodging bushfires to check how the wildlife are handling these “unprecedented” times.

    We left only after we had completed our bushfire emergency plan as well as we could.

    Bushfire has a very strong message even watching from your TV but actually feeling the heat and confronting it at your doorstep is much more impressive.

    I recommend it to Luke and Bazza AWA all greenie types who flinch at the thought of appropriate cool burning and fuel reduction.

    In our travels we did find hundreds of dead mutton birds [short tailed shearwaters], dead and dying, washed up on NNSW beaches that I’m sure the alarmists could extrapolate into evidence of CAGW if they really put their mind to it.

    Or do they think that they are in plague proportions like humans and a few thousand deaths from fires, starvation or any other natural controlling factor is what is necessary.

  231. Robert October 28, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    “What is needed is a fundamental change in bushfire philosophy and governance. Forest managing agencies and fire services must shift their focus from suppressing running fires to the critical long-term work of pre-emptive and responsible land management. Their job is to make the task of the firefighter easier and safer, not harder and more dangerous. Arson, Acts of God and possible Global Warming can all be anticipated and steps can be taken to minimise their impact. We know what to do and how to do it.”

    Keep quoting Roger, and keep linking to this post.

  232. Neville October 28, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    Luke displays his pig ignorance once again. If you actually look at the co2 levels you’ll understand that it’s all about the non OECD countries emissions by 2040 not the OECD.

    You’ve once again proven my point, you just don’t understand. We can only presume you’re too stupid or to much of a fanatic to get off first base.

    The EU and USA will increase emissions by zip until 2040 and yet the non OECD emissions will soar.
    But why are you so happy to display your stupidity here day after day? What is it about these simple facts that you don’t understand?

  233. Debbie October 28, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    Yes Robert,
    Luke is pretending he is dense. . . which is very funny to watch.
    As I have commented several times here he simply needs to go and read the policies and regs that are PREVENTING the sensible implementation of practical land management strategies and ask himself from whence those counter productive, process focused, confusing, expensive, inflexible etc policies came.
    Maybe I should also add that a chronic disease lives in centralised bureaucracies that results in them not having the cahounas to admit that they make mistakes and to just fix them. Some things (most particularly in the highly variable NRM space) don’t need $millions and months of peoples’ valuable time and resources to conduct inquiries into the bleeding obvious!
    Fire trails, fire breaks, back burning, cool burning, water access, cleared designated escape routes, keeping fuel load and undergrowth at manageable levels, keeping buildings clear of eucalypts etc etc etc are ALL tried and true methods that have been systematically OBSTRUCTED by what Robert has amusingly dubbed ‘navel gazing’.

  234. Luke October 28, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    “you’ll understand that it’s all about the non OECD countries emissions by 2040 not the OECD.”

    So? who cares – why don’t you understand the simple facts of the risk involved? All emissions are an issue.

  235. Luke October 28, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Debbie – no they haven’t been obstructed at all. Rot

    We know all that stuff Debs. And still the place burns. Why- no systematic fire regime. Result in fire weather – massive blazes and massive ember storms.

    You’re clueless and a just a serial whinger about the system and greens. Really like on all matters you’re clueless. There has been no improvement since Federation. Fire weather = fires.

  236. jennifer October 28, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    To all Whingers

    My little piece on Bathurst maximum temps has been republished at OLO here: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=15620


  237. toby October 28, 2013 at 9:45 am #

    Henry Ergas writes well on the bushfire madness and also gives some data to help improve our ability to live with fire in a fire prone country.


  238. Debbie October 28, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    No Luke,
    The current culture and mindset that refuses to admit their rules and regs are riddled with double standards and obstructions is part of the PROBLEM and NOT PART OF THE SOLUTION!
    Focus is on defending process. . . . even when it clearly isn’t working. . . when it should be on OUTCOMES!
    Personal sneering attacks when these simple facts are pointed out is another symptom of that chronic disease I mentioned earlier.
    BTW. . there has been improvements since Federation. . . Looks like you need to read Roger Underwood’s work again?
    Robert actually copy/pasted a relevant comment @ 8:27.
    AND. . . ” Fire weather=fires” ????????????? LOL! ROFL!!!
    Thanks for that pearl of wisdom as you obviously assume that no one would understand something so BLEEDING OBVIOUS!

  239. toby October 28, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    So lets get this straight;
    1. Bushfires in October are not uncommon. But these bushfires are because of CAGW.
    2. The world has not warmed for 15 years. But these fires are because of CAGW.
    3. We have had a wet few years in the south east of oz, but these fires are because of drought caused by CAGW
    4. The carbon tax will not influence climate. But removing the carbon tax will/ has caused CAGW and caused the bushfires.
    5. The ABC and other warming outlets like Fairfax are doing us a great service in pushing their warming agenda by focusing on these bushfires and promoting lies and exaggerations and the likes of Bolt are evil for pointing out these exagerations.

    Oh and all sceptics are just biased, in case you hadn’t worked that out yet.

    The best thing for me however has been abbott calling it as it is ( part of everyday life …and something we need to get better used to managing), and telling the world the same thing at the same time as gore accuses him of being in the pay of big business.

  240. bazza October 28, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    Toby was impressed by Ergas. Did he happen to notice that old Henry listed 7 years of bad October fires in NSW and 3/7 were this century. Even kindy stats would tell you 4/100 and 3/14 are evidence of loaded dice. Of course there are lots of other factors loading the dice, even positive ones like better fire fighting etc. But is it negligent to misinform on the increased risk. or tell me Toby , are you sure there is no increased risk from climate change.? Tell that to your class.

  241. Debbie October 28, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    Good to see your ‘little piece on Bathurst maximum temperatures’ reaching a wider audience Jen. Along with Underwood’s post here it argues for common sense and practical focus on the MAJOR contributors to bushfires instead of ‘fashionable politics’.

  242. Debbie October 28, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    has it occured to you that 3/7 have occurred this century because of the management issues outlined by Underwood?

  243. Debbie October 28, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    As in the dice has been definitely loaded by humans. . . BUT . . . not by CAGW.
    Any human signal in Australian climate/weather is NOT a major contributing factor.
    Controlling the future climate (even if that’s possible) will NOT help to manage CURRENT risks from Aussie bushfires. . . neither will comments about American politics or polarising the community or diverting attention, time & resources AWAY from the ACTUAL CURRENT risks.

  244. toby October 28, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    I am certainly not sure there are not increased fire risks.

    I am certainly not sure that we do not face significant risk from climate change….BUT I THINK IT VERY UNLIKELY AND BELIEVE A BIT WARMER IS MUCH BETTER THAN COLDER

    I am sure that the world is not acting.

    I am sure that nothing we do matters short of finding new technology.

    I am sure population growth is a much bigger problem.

    I am sure that our carbon tax and all carbon policies are just a waste of money that will not alter global climate.

    I am sure that humans have some influence on the climate, both local and global and some of this is very likely due to CO2.

    I am sure the models are mostly poor at predicting the impacts of additional co2.

    I am sure that the doom and gloom scenarios have so far been shown to be baloney.

    I am sure that we can do things better to manage the risk of fire.

    I am sure that the ABC is biased and pushes its own agendas and that is disgraceful with public money.

    I am sure that the money and policies being used around the world are making; some very rich, many “new” jobs that they would not have otherwise ( in climate related fields and renewables etc), rainforests being cleared to create biofuel, a massive distortion of the use of resources, high food and energy prices that lower living standards and cause great hardship for many.

    I am also sure that platitudes to Gaia are for fools and zealots and there in lies my bias against CAGW. the science is actually irrelevant without a genuine solution….and the world keeps ignoring the only viable solution ( nuclear) whilst pushing platitudes that bring far more harm than good.

    I am also sure that warmers create a whole heap of straw men when arguing with most sceptics……

  245. bazza October 28, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    Gotta love Debs reverse engineering insight “Controlling the future climate (even if that’s possible) will NOT help to manage CURRENT risks “. But as to my point whether current risks have increased or are increasing I will stick with peer reviewed rather than Debs opinion including her uncritical admiration of Jens less than rigorous analysis of Bathurst temps. ( I am glad I don’t have to use the caps key to make a point!)

  246. Neville October 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Geeezzzz Luke it doesn’t matter what we do, it can’t make a jot of difference. Your religion has made you delusional and there is no excuse for your silly point of view.

    Another thing you seem to forget is the fact that OZ’s population is increasing at a pace. In 1990 our pop was just 17 million but by 2013 we’ve increased to 23 mill.
    That’s an increase of 35% in about 23 years and that extra 6 mill people have to have new infrastructure and 35% more energy to service their needs.
    That’s just more info that you’re too dumb to even think about or understand. If a similar increase occurs in the next 23 years that number will increase to a pop of 35.5 million.

    Just another reason why we’ll never ever reduce emissions at all. And it won’t matter to the climate or temp by 2100 if we do.
    Here’s a practical solution for your delusional CAGW problem. Spend your time trying to convince your looney Green mates to promote and encourage new nukes for our future energy needs.

    Of course this won’t make a scrap of difference to your CAGW nonsense but it may give you something better to do and save us from more clueless, super expensive solar and wind energy.

  247. Luke October 28, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    I don’t have any ” looney Green mates” – unlike yourself they have some brains and few are greens.


    It’s about the level of intelligence here isn’t it – cozy toes – no thoughts on what any warming would necessarily to do to fire weather and extremes. Remarkable lah lah lah denialism.

    We could use Debs as a source of alternative energy source. Hands are waving like a wind turbine and she doesn’t stop when she runs out of wind.

    Debs undertaking a systematic national burn has not been successfully undertaken since European settlement. You’re full of nonsense. And offer no answers.

  248. spangled drongo October 28, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    During the last week I seem to remember Al Gore being asked by our unbiased ABC to comment on Abbott’s remarks on “The Fires” and he compared Abbott to tobacco interests.

    Here’s Gore in 1988:

    “Throughout most of my life, I raised tobacco. I want you to know that with my own hands, all of my life, I put it in the plant beds and transferred it. I’ve hoed it. I’ve dug in it. I’ve sprayed it, I’ve chopped it, I’ve shredded it, spiked it, put it in the barn and stripped it and sold it.”

    But that was just his early life.

    Since then he’s a reformed man with just an occasional monster CO2 footprint from multiple mansions, private jets, effluent lifestyle etc.

    Must be great to have world class heroes like this to call on when you want to disparage your own prime minister.

  249. toby October 28, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    Luke, so a statement of obvious truth is the one you pick on……..and you reply with yet another straw man . ….

    “It’s about the level of intelligence here isn’t it – cozy toes – no thoughts on what any warming would necessarily to do to fire weather and extremes. Remarkable lah lah lah denialism.”

    We cant do anything about it (co2)!! you dickheads pushing your wishes are lowering living standards distorting resource use and making many a lot of money.

    We do need to manage the risk of more fires…or any fires., But these fires are not proof of your CAGW and are yet another example of why your movement is getting nowhere….its full of idiots making straw men, exaggerations and promises to Gaia and most thinking people have jack of the bullshit and have stopped listening to anything you mob have to say because you have lost the trust of the public.

    You could even say we think you are climate criminals……

  250. Neville October 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    It seems that Sept and Oct bushfires in NSW were common in the 19th and twentieth centuries. Here’s some reports from the National library.


    And much more here from the Bolter..


    But this will escape silly Luke and bazza, they’re just content to lie and fool one another day by day.
    Lie all you like to each other Luke but don’t expect us to fall for it. I’ve given you the facts but don’t blame us if you’re too dumb to understand.

  251. Debbie October 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    As I said…personal sneering attacks are another symptom of that chronic disease.
    Luke….where oh where has anyone said that we need a ‘systematic national burn’? That’s NOT what Underwood is saying….in fact his emphasis is on LOCAL MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES.
    Bazza….as I have above…I like using the caps key because it helps to show where you need to emphasise different words in the sentence….and the only time I attempted using the bold command I found it a) time consuming and… b) I didn’t close it properly and caused the rest of the comments to appear as bold.

    Tell you what Luke and Bazza…we sharpened all our shovels a couple of days ago because we’re some of those NSW Rice Growers that Luke thinks is the definition of an ‘extreme redneck’ and we’re filling up our paddocks. .. hence the need for some shovelling.

    🙂 🙂 🙂
    Because I have badly sprained my ankle I can’t use mine at the moment…if you like I could lend it to you guys so you can do a better, more efficient job of digging that hole for yourselves….nothing like a sharper tool to help get the job done.

  252. Luke October 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    Rot Debs – disparate or slack local interpretations are the problem. Debs you’ve been left alone and stuffed up your land and veg management on almost any criteria for 200 years. You clearly need help.

  253. Debbie October 28, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    200 years?
    This area has only been operating for 100….and it’s in tip top and best practice condition.
    Mind you….it hasn’t all been plain sailing and some mistakes have been made and have been fixed…strangely….in the big 100 year picture….mistakes were generally made by Government Departments and the fixes were mostly done by the landholders.
    Are you sure you don’t want to borrow that shovel Luke?

  254. toby October 28, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    Has anyone thought to thank bob carr for the fires? it was he after all who removed responsibility for burning off from local to the department of environment.

    Of course no greens dominate in there and they love burning off.

    Those friends of mine who want to burn a fire break at potato point still have to wait to hear back from the dept of environment, four meetings and many months. Roger suggests you have to fill in a 73 page report to be able to get permission for a forest burn.

    First point of control has to be decent sized fire breaks in conjunction with burning off whenever and wherever practical.

    But no lets focus on making these fires into an example of CAGW and see how much abuse we can throw around instead…or any other straw man that helps you feel superior.

  255. spangled drongo October 28, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    Debbie, You’ve got as much chance of getting Luke and Bazza to pick up a shovel as getting the greens to reverse their policy on irrigation.

    They don’t want to know that food is produced that way [even though they want us all to revert to that standard of efficiency].

    I wonder how they’d manage if they had to cook their meals on that same shovel as well?

  256. spangled drongo October 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Not having read the news for a week, please excuse if you’ve seen it.

    Al throws another climate lie on the barbie:


  257. Neville October 28, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    With a cult leader like Milne it’s little wonder Luke is such an accomplished liar and has zip regard for bushfire history, SKM and co2 levels. What a nong.


  258. Debbie October 28, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    Yes Toby,
    My ‘extreme redneck’ husband (aka NSW ricegrower. . . among several other food & fibre crops) & I were discussing that last night. In particular what happened to the Pillaga state forrest
    SD. . .As well as probably not knowing how to use a shovel. . . from some of the recent comments from those 2 I would also strongly suspect they have no idea how to use fire to burn off, back burn or cool burn or how it’s done successfully.
    Their ‘metaphoric shovel’ is in serious need of sharpening however.
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    They’re digging themselves into a hole with a very blunt tool. It would be nice if they could recognise that their behaviour is purely political and zero practical or useful.

  259. John Sayers October 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    “Debs undertaking a systematic national burn has not been successfully undertaken since European settlement.”

    Yes it has been Luke – WA used a complete hazard reduction system where they burnt 18% every year. They stopped all the extreme fires and only had controllable outbreaks due to either arson or lightning. It stopped when the Greens took control of fire management.

  260. toby October 28, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    “They’re digging themselves into a hole with a very blunt tool. It would be nice if they could recognise that their behaviour is purely political and zero practical or useful.”
    amazingly they cant see that their input is exactly that. They think they bamboozle with science, without recognising that its completely irrelevant even if CAGW is a little bit to blame and in reality their opinion is all about trying to influence politics with emphasis on the C.

    I think they need a bulldozer to see their way through the mire myself!

  261. Luke October 28, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Well what a geography lesson – WA forestry now = “The Nation” – well I never. Sceptic intelligence at full throttle.

    “It stopped when the Greens took control of fire management.” what bunk.

    And thanks for bringing up the Pilliga State “Forest” – it exists as a forest through lack of fire over 150 years. It used be be a very sparse woodland. Do go on ! (Eric Rolls – Million Wild Acres). So much for your fire history dearie!

  262. Luke October 28, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Denialosphere is in over drive – must be hurting bad – jeez I laughed at Bolt’s nonsense today.

    Why bother talking to sceptics? http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2013/10/talking-to-contrarians-why-do-you-do-it.html

    Tisdale skewered (again after Roy!) http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2013/10/bob-tisdale-hides-warming-and-tries-out.html



    You couldn’t script this stuff.

  263. John Sayers October 28, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    Luke – you really aren’t worth discussing anything with – you just call bunk for anything that disagrees with you.

  264. Robert October 28, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    The Pilliga? Lack of fire? Next they’ll tell us the Pilliga’s “natural” or “pristine” or “iconic” or whatever moronisms Bob Carr can utter from under his iconic Akubra. I would be surprised if the saw-log and grazing era EVER saw fire on the post-Carr scale. (Like my caps, Deb?)

    No wonder these flapping turkeys love to go on about about global stuff. If they poked you in the eye they’d tell you it’s part of a global phenomenon. Then ask to see the other eye.

  265. spangled drongo October 28, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    Thanks for that Robert. I knew the Pilliga had been recently heavily burnt but couldn’t remember the connection.

    Simply more unintended consequences of witless greenie activism that is occurring everywhere.

    But as John says, it’s no good trying to point this out to idiots like Luke.

    He’s in flat out denial.

  266. spangled drongo October 28, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    Imagine the wildlife that are wiped out in those incredibly hot fires. When you’re running forestry industries and looking after the forest for selective logging there is always some environmental cost but miniscule in comparison to the mindless greenie solution.

  267. Debbie October 28, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Anyway. . . I’m still studying how to create a causal link between my sprained ankle and CAGW 🙂
    I’m getting lots of material to study.
    Thanks heaps Luke & Bazza. . . you have made my time recuperating both amusing and instructive.
    ‘Fashionable Politics’. . . as Jen dubs it. . . does have a LOL & ROFL etc side to it.
    And thanks for the link Robert. . . and love your caps.

    Let me know if you would like to borrow my very very sharp shovel Luke & Bazza. . . sorry I can’t lend you our bulldozer but my ‘extreme redneck’ husband is using it to help produce his summer crops.

  268. John Sayers October 28, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    I was chatting about forestry factors with an old logger in the Whian Whian state forest back in the 70s. I asked when did clear felling take over from selective logging. He reckoned it was in the 50s when a whole group of academics with degrees in forestry from Sydney appeared in the area and taught them how to clear fell.

  269. cohenite October 28, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    Geez luke, that Denier site having a go at Bob Tisdale is just about the pits. He rabbits on about 1990 and Bob’s alleged use of 1990 to make the models appear bad. BUT it is not Bob who uses 1990 but Nuccitelli as Bob notes:

    “Contrary to the claims made by Nuccitelli, with the 1961-1990 base years, “the 1990 data point” WAS NOT “located toward the high end of the range of model simulations”. See:


    Seriously everything he says about detrending is rubbish and what he blames Bob for doing Bob didn’t do.

    I would really like you to tell me in your words what point he is trying to make about Bob Tisdale.

  270. John Sayers October 28, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    A wealth of peer-reviewed research has shown that the economic cost of weather-related
    natural disasters is rising in concert with growing concentrations of population and wealth
    in disaster-prone regions. No role can yet be attributed to anthropogenic climate change.
    This is the case for multiple natural perils and across different jurisdictions. And recent
    studies suggest that we may be centuries away from being able to detect an anthropogenic
    climate change signal in US tropical cyclone loss data.
    The figure below shows annual aggregate insurance industry losses due to Australian
    weather-related natural disasters. The losses have been normalised to 2011/12 societal
    conditions following the methodology described in Crompton (2011). Importantly, the time
    series of losses exhibits no significant trend over time but there is some general
    correspondence with El Niño-Southern Oscillation phases.


  271. Graeme M October 29, 2013 at 6:04 am #

    Cohenite, I mentioned this once before here about that graph that caused all the kerfuffle in the first place. Tamino etc argue that the graph should not have started from 1990 as it was a hot year and he showed that in fact it should have started from a lower point (ie on the trend line). This is backed up by this statement from Luke’s link:

    “The point about the problems with the display of model runs was twofold. Firstly: The model runs were all aligned to a single point, which was wrong. They didn’t all converge to a single point in 1990 let alone converge exactly on the observed average global temperature anomaly, and shouldn’t have been shown as if they did. Secondly: that point lay above the trend, which meant that the model runs looked higher than they were in reality. Both of these combined to make the chart wrong. ”

    But I gathered from that IPCC chart that they had deliberately chosen the starting point as being the year in question (the most recent year) at that time. They then scaled the projections from that point. That is, they scaled the range of projections to show what could be expected to occur after 1990, given the projections. It wouldn’t have mattered how hot or cold 1990 was. The whole thing was scaled to show how the future should unfold from the starting point.

    Thus, the END points of the range of projections remained the same, but the starting point was different, and didn’t need to be ‘on trend’.

    Or have I misunderstood that whole thing?

  272. Neville October 29, 2013 at 7:31 am #

    Well Luke it looks like the Labor party is starting to grow a brain. Unlike you and bazza, you dumb saps.


    After years of telling lies on this blog until you don’t seem to know which side is up, your Labor heroes look like letting you down and going to water on the co2 tax.

    Geeeezzzzz what a sad situation for Luke’s barking mad stand on reducing co2. It seems the planet will just have to get used to OZ not pricing co2 by buying fraudulent certificates overseas from assorted con merchants and the Mafia. Luke will be disappointed, we know he set his heart on just this sort of insanity.

    But don’t be too disappointed Lukey I’m sure that Abbott will still highlight electricity Bill’s intention to bring back the co2 tax after the next election. Should work a treat.

  273. cohenite October 29, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    Graeme, that’s pretty much my understanding too; let’s see if lukey can phone a friend to set us straight.

  274. bazza October 29, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    Debbie, I am never short of helpful advice so I have some evidence-based kindy triage for your sprained ankle. And I thought you were a keen risk manager too. I gather sprain was inflicted collecting eggs so no wish to tell you how to suck them. How about delicious irony in the best treatment for sprains is (no cap abuse here) RICE (R est, I ce, C ompression and E levation)

  275. Graeme M October 29, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    Intriguing… if that’s right, then all of Tamino’s contortions are rubbish. And I think (without having gone back to reread Tisdale’s post) that means Tisdale and WUWT were right (though I disagree with what Tisdale says about 1990 not being hot – it was).

  276. bazza October 29, 2013 at 9:39 am #

    THE CARBON CONSENSUS ( extract from Matt Wade in the SMH)
    Despite Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s plans to rid Australia of what he calls the “toxic” carbon tax, the poll by Fairfax Media shows there is near-unanimity among economists that a market-based solution, such as a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme, is the best policy option to reduce carbon pollution. This echoes similar surveys taken in past years. Economists are convinced that carbon pricing will yield the greatest environmental bang-for-buck at the lowest economic cost.
    Justin Wolfers, an Australian professor at the University of Michigan, says: “Abbott’s plan doesn’t effectively harness market forces; it relies instead on the government handing out cheques.
    ”One problem is that we’ll end up subsidising a lot of abatement that would have occurred anyway. Another is that the plan imposes extra costs because it uses scarce tax dollars . . . All told, Direct Action involves more economic disruption for less of an environmental payoff.”
    Melbourne University professor John Freebairn said he favoured a carbon price because it encouraged millions of businesses and households to shift their production and consumption choices to lower pollution, lower price alternatives…….
    Kindy economics is all you need!

  277. spangled drongo October 29, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    What would have substantially added to the fire prone-ness of the Blue Mts area was the big push in recent years to make it “World Heritage”.

    Restoration of any “degraded” parts and keeping everything in “pristine condition” for all time was the order of the day to achieve that listing.

    “Degraded” parts probably included local dams that had to be demolished.

    Takes a while for this “sustainability” to become fully evident.

  278. spangled drongo October 29, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    The O’Reilly family left the Blue Mts around a century ago and came to live not far from me to farm on the Lamington Plateau. I hope their old homestead of Cullenbenbong down there survived the fires. Also their earlier home and Bernard’s birthplace at Long Swamp Creek which was a slab cottage but still existing recently.

    Be a shame to lose so much history for the sake of “sustainability”.

  279. toby October 29, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    IPCC expert reviewer John McLean, in The Age on-line, of all places:

    ” It seems that every time there’s a major bushfire in Australia there’s also a queue of people who try to blame it on man-made warming…

    In its latest report the IPCC claims that it is “likely” that heatwaves have increased in Australia, “likely” being just one step away from “as likely as not”. Two of the three cited papers in the report appear to have a co-author who is also a lead author of that chapter of the IPCC report, which might be fortuitous.

    A close check of the easiest obtained of the three references tells a less clear picture. It says that heatwaves have increased in some parts of Australia and have decreased or are unchanged in others, but it’s talking of trends from 1971 to 2000, a period that covers a significant shift in the Pacific Ocean towards more El Nino events. The statement doesn’t tell us what’s happened over the past 15 years, a period when the global average temperature has been basically flat…

    The increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide increases the amount of heat being reflected back to Earth… It’s drawing a long bow to link this to heatwaves, which as both the latest IPCC report and the Bureau of Meteorology say, are caused by near stationary highs dragging warm air from one location to another…

    The old Climate Commission said that heatwaves would increase as temperatures rose. Even setting aside the different processes, that’s a dubious claim. The term “heatwave” has no formal definition. If it is defined as days above 35 degrees then global warming, if it resumes, could easily increase that number. If it is defined as instances of three or more days with temperatures more than five degrees above average it’s a different story because warming might cause the average to increase but not the number of times it is exceeded…

    NSW rainfall totals in 2010 and 2011 were 47 per cent and 21 per cent above average, with 2012 very close to average. This pattern will have encouraged plant growth…

    Temperatures in August and September were above average in NSW. The Bureau of Meteorology attributes this to highs crossing the east coast being slightly higher than usual, for reasons unknown, with the anti-clockwise winds drawing warm tropical air from further north than usual down onto the state. This would lead to early drying of vegetation, although this seems not without precedent because major NSW bushfires have previously occurred in October and November… The history of bushfires in NSW … shows there is nothing unusual about these fires.”

  280. toby October 29, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    bazza, I do not believe you are that stupid as to believe that a carbon tax or emission trading scheme will actually lower global co2 emissions ?….do you really support them????. how low do you want them to go? how much would you be willing to spend in this cause? Do you really think we can control climate??!

    Kindy maths is all you need to work out that developing nations emissions are and will continue to outstrip the wests, yours maths is clearly up to working this out. Do they have the right to improve their lifestyles? Should they be allowed cheap energy? are you going to impose birth restrictions to limit population growth? without it you will not cut emissions unless new technology is found

    So you are just a political activist in reality pushing an agenda.

    If the whole world acted you could reduce emissions ( and dramatically lower real living standards for everybody!!!?).

    But the world is not acting, if you believe they are then you are ignorant. That is unlikely so you are choosing to tell a lie to push your cause.

    who do you think will get rich out of global trading of emissions? Follow the money trail as usual to see why something is being pushed….. How much rorting and fraud has already occurred in Europe?

    I believe that token gestures to Gaia are for idiots and fools ……….no doubt you think the same?

    Topher showed with simple kiddy maths why a tax is just insanity, I am sure he could make it more complicated for you as well if that helps your understanding?

    You are just a political activist , trying to bamboozle with science focusing on the micro whilst ignoring the obvious macro factors at play.
    Do you really think we should impose a large tax that raised more money from 23m people than europes has raised in a decade from over 300m?…and if we do/ did are you foolish enough to think it will change the climate?…you are better off praying to gaia ……….

  281. Beth Cooper October 29, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    … The Age on-line? … A sceptical comment on bushfires and AGW?

    A telling comment by kim at Climate Etc comes ter mind:

    ‘ Calling ‘theatre’ in a crowded fire.’

  282. Johnathan Wilkes October 29, 2013 at 1:12 pm #


    “bazza, I do not believe you are that stupid as to believe that a carbon tax or emission trading scheme will actually lower global co2 emissions “

    Are you being polite and charitable or do you have evidence to base your assumption on?

  283. jennifer Marohasy October 29, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    I’ve plotted some more temp. data for Bathurst… http://www.mythandthemurray.org/no-increase-in-warm-nights-or-mild-winters-at-bathurst/

  284. toby October 29, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    So Bazza, after your snide remark about what I say to my classes about climate change…followed by what I actually say…I can take your complete silence as an admission that what I say is in all probability correct?…or perhaps you missed it and would like to show where I am wrong?

    “I am certainly not sure there are not increased fire risks.

    I am certainly not sure that we do not face significant risk from climate change….BUT I THINK IT VERY UNLIKELY AND BELIEVE A BIT WARMER IS MUCH BETTER THAN COLDER

    I am sure that the world is not acting.

    I am sure that nothing we do matters short of finding new technology.

    I am sure population growth is a much bigger problem.

    I am sure that our carbon tax and all carbon policies are just a waste of money that will not alter global climate.

    I am sure that humans have some influence on the climate, both local and global and some of this is very likely due to CO2.

    I am sure the models are mostly poor at predicting the impacts of additional co2.

    I am sure that the doom and gloom scenarios have so far been shown to be baloney.

    I am sure that we can do things better to manage the risk of fire.

    I am sure that the ABC is biased and pushes its own agendas and that is disgraceful with public money.

    I am sure that the money and policies being used around the world are making; some very rich, many “new” jobs that they would not have otherwise ( in climate related fields and renewables etc), rainforests being cleared to create biofuel, a massive distortion of the use of resources, high food and energy prices that lower living standards and cause great hardship for many.

    I am also sure that platitudes to Gaia are for fools and zealots and there in lies my bias against CAGW. the science is actually irrelevant without a genuine solution….and the world keeps ignoring the only viable solution ( nuclear) whilst pushing platitudes that bring far more harm than good.

    I am also sure that warmers create a whole heap of straw men when arguing with most sceptics……”

  285. Toby October 29, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    Jen, I particularly like your final graph with 21 locations, although just with eyeing the graph, if you remove the 1 off spike in the early 1920’s it looks like maybe a very small increase up until the recent stasis?….but certainly not enough to find a CAGW signal for the oct fires!?

    BTS, I was also surprised to see the sceptical article!

    and JW, I assume your question was rhetorical? I don’t think intelligence is the issue at all, he is probably way smarter than most of us. But common sense and rationality are perhaps in short supply and an inability to see the big picture when its blurred by so much “noise”?

  286. John Sayers October 29, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    Toby – in the conclusion of the article I posted earlier they say:

    Research into the economic impacts from natural disasters now spans many parts of the
    world. What is evident from studies to date is an increasing trend in the cost of natural
    disasters over time. The main drivers of the increasing trend are demonstrably socio-economic
    factors. No study has yet been able to detect an anthropogenic climate change influence.
    Anyone asserting the contrary now has a mountain of peer-reviewed literature to climb over.

  287. toby October 29, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    Thx John, it was certainly an interesting article. And something I have believed for a while now…but of course for Luke and Bazza et al it doesn’t fit the paradigm of evil co2 and rich westerners who burn it. Of course the beauty of CAGW is whatever happens it is proof that it is worse than we thought.

    I particularly liked this “Conflating disaster losses with anthropogenic climate change is to look in the wrong direction and ask the wrong questions: reducing the vulnerability of people and property to disasters makes sense regardless of whether increasing losses can be linked to anthropogenic climate change. Vulnerability reduction is particularly important in the short term as greenhouse gas emission policies cannot decrease weather-related hazard risks for many decades (Bouwer et al. 2007). And doing this will afford economic and social benefits under any future climate.”

    I guess that makes Rogers article relevant whatever your stance on CAGW!………..But Luke after initially agreeing seems to have done his best to argue against ever since.

    I wonder if indeed they just say and do as they do for a joke, knowing that it gets us riled up and shaking our heads at their inability to grasp what is being said?

  288. davefromweewaa October 29, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    “Calling ‘theatre’ in a crowded fire”
    Very good Beth, can I have it?

  289. Beth Cooper October 29, 2013 at 9:19 pm #


    The comment was by kim, known for witty one liners, posted @ 10.46am
    on Prof Judith Curry’s Climate Etc . (Thread, ‘Interpreting the fire weather
    in New South Wales.’)

    Beth the serf.

  290. Neville October 29, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    Here’s more lies and fraud from the IPCC. Luke and bazza have told us repeatedly on this thread that our temps are at all time highs and we must reduce co2 etc.

    But Steve McIntyre looks at the proxies used to estimate SH temp in the earlier Med period etc. It turns out that Antarctic ice cores are our best proxy, but most of the proxies used are from the NH and include the upside down Tiljander fraudulent proxies as well.


    Incredible but true that they’ve used mostly NH proxies to estimate temp in the SH over the last thousand years or more. Can you believe it?
    The Antarctic ice cores show that the Med warming period was probably warmer than the 1970 to 2000 period of warming.
    Of course Mann’s mad proxies feature strongly throughout this IPCC nonsense. Just shows what rubbish Luke’s peer review really is and just more fraud from the IPCC.
    Only an idiot would want to impose a co2 tax based on the fraud and con games of the IPCC.

  291. Luke October 29, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    Toby – well despite verballing me (“evil CO2” – I don’t think it’s evil, “rich westerners” – not really)

    (1) Roger Underwood makes a good point about lack of fuel load reduction. He makes an assertion that there be institutional impediments. That’s fine.

    (2) Greens don’t control every square inch of Australia – trying to fit them out for all the fire woes that beset the nation is pretentious propaganda (not a green and don’t vote green). Vegetation thickening, woodland thickening, extent and seasonality of burning, fuel load problems have been increasing since settlement from end to end of the country.

    (3) What is needed is a vegetation community specific fire regime that patch burns. This needs to be systematic and ongoing. Remote sensing has a major role in mapping fire scars and keeping the years since burnt database, synoptic and real-time (supercomputer) weather forecasting and spatial GIS have a major role in provision of intelligence. Local knowledge, landholders and well trained fire crews are needed to run the fires (not blog yobbos and adventurists). Underwood’s Angels may be able to manage their favourite hobby patch.

    (4) I suggest that there is an argument to be made about AGW creating circumstances that “add” to the bushfire risk. I’m not saying AGW starts fire but fires once lit, then fire weather and fuel load determines ferocity. I’m not denying there have been significant fires in the past. But I also acknowledge Bushfire CRC work that says FFDI has increased over time, part of that is weather (temp, humidity, wind combo in peak parts of the day).

    (5) On a broader front and different time scale, we need to curtail the rampant growth of CO2 in the atmosphere. We won’t be reducing it as Neville wishes to imply. It’s a question of how it’s going to go ! We won’t get anywhere without a global deal of all major emitters and 4th gen nuclear power (IMO) but I’m open to solar proponents to keep trying. The scale of the challenge is enormous but Australia has a role to play and needs to keep involved in the field. When the global impacts start to bite the whole dynamics of the economic discussion will change in a few years so Neville can cackle all he likes.

    (6) I reject Jen’s analysis of maximum temperatures at Bathurst jail as evidence of anything given the site is a compromised brick heat island with measuring standard issues. Furthermore 1950s and 1960s onwards analysis of data from Katoomba, Bathurst Ag Station and Bathurst Airport contradict her analysis from the jail. i.e. the trend tendency of maximum temperature records is clearly upwards. Jen rejects my analysis being for too short a period. Would need to data punch Ag Stn records to affect a partial resolution.

    (7) And for GraemeM – Tisdale’s quality

    QUOTE “I displayed my very limited understanding of statistics in this post. This was pointed out to me a great number times by many different people in numerous comments received in the WattsUpWithThat cross post.The errors in that initial portion of the post were so many and so great that they detracted from the bulk of the post, which was about the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. Please disregard this post and the WUWT cross post, and any other cross posts that may exist.

    Originally, when I wrote the post about Foster and Rahmstorf (2011), I had not included my error-filled discussion about their regression analysis. That was a last minute addition. Lesson learned.” UNQUOTE

    limited understanding of statistics and errors in that initial portion of the post were so many and so great

    GOLLY GEE. http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/on-foster-and-rahmstorf-2011-global-temperature-evolution-1979-2010/

    And GraemeM for the other great love of Neville’s life – Willis – http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/willisgate-take-2/

    Now GraemeM – don’t mind anyone having a go – but this piffle as “source” Weally?

  292. Luke October 29, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    Is McIntyre published – if not he can sod off. Just more projection and nonsense.

  293. John Sayers October 29, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

    Luke – you don’t need a greenie in every council to affect fire policy, just a few in the department that writes the rules the council must abide by is enough.

  294. Robert October 30, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    “Roger Underwood makes a good point about lack of fuel load reduction.”
    He does, doesn’t he?

    “He makes an assertion that there be institutional impediments. That’s fine.”
    He does indeed make that assertion.

    We’ve got ’em focusing on Roger. Choice!

    I’d hate to go through that 1993 fire season again with present fuel loads. What’s more, it could be worse: In 1895 we had our wettest month on the record by far, with well over half a metre in January. (This is all still official, by the way.) Then, for the 4 months between May and August, we had our driest winter by far, with less then 3mm falling for those 4 months! You can imagine what happened. (Thx to SD for tip on 1895 August fires. That’s right. Not October. August.)

    The 1890s in Oz are all about extremes and climate change. The above extreme swing from 1895 summer to 1895 winter actually happened. (Please let me know if anybody is bewildered by the term “actually happened”.) Imagine having those conditions with extra population and higher fuel loads. Add a three day westerly in September as the season warms?

    Time to use the old loaf, I’d say.

  295. Graeme M October 30, 2013 at 5:58 am #

    Luke I wasn’t necessarily defending Tisdale. My comment was more about the furore over that earlier graph. Either obs track well with projections or they don’t. The fact that so many educated and intelligent people can argue back and forwards over that is curious. It should be a trifling matter to decide yes or no.

    I can’t do it for myself, I don’t have the skillset nor the time. But it seems to me that if the original graph was designed to show how projections played out from a particular starting point, how it was presented was fine. Overlaying obs on that is fine too. Tamino is arguing that the projections should have been aligned with the trend, but of course the value of the trend changes over time (as later data changes the trendline).

    I am simply observing that the original graph makes sesne, the choice of the actual 1990 temp as a starting point makes sense, and Tamino’s adjustments do NOT make sense. To me.

    For the record, I think Tisdale is wrong about the fact that 1990 was not hot. It was. But I think that’s irrelevant.

  296. Neville October 30, 2013 at 7:34 am #

    Geeezzzz how do you reply to an artful dodger like Luke? Luke, McIntyre has been an expert reviewer for the IPCC for years and McKitrick as well.

    These two blokes destroyed the HS fraudster Mann and now he is suspect everywhere and lost his credibility. The fool tried dud proxies plus clueless stats and suffered the consequences. A job well done and the world owes them a great debt for exposing him.

    I suppose you can also admire dummies who use fraudulent proxies and turn data on its head to obtain fraudulent results, but these con merchants shouldn’t complain just because McIntyre exposed their con game.

    And as I’ve said before on this blog I would be quite happy to see OZ start a 4th gen new nuke program providing we cease funding any more idiot solar and wind programs.
    By all means give tax breaks to fund research into BASELOAD solar ( not wind) but that’s all. New nukes are full baseload power and at the moment solar and wind are a joke and a waste of taxpayer’s money.

  297. Luke October 30, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    Yes indeed Robert, Roger discovered fuel loads, hitherto a topic unknown to Australian science. As significant s the Higgs Boson. Nobody knew about fuel load bosons before his discovery. A whole Bushire CRC has struggled in the dark. Why does it burn they asked – the answer pre-Roger was of course Phlogiston !

    Now Wobby at the risk of getting all dang sophistamuckated one wonders if an Aussie Universal Field Equation could be parameterised using local knowledge for Fuel Load (t/ha) = x (ln Time since fire) + y (FPC) + z (Fuel depth)


    where ln is natural logarithm, and FPC Foliage Projective Cover (tree leaf density)

    The first two variables could be provided by remote sensing over wide areas (fire scar maps). Anyway and you’d wack that up the jacksie of a GIS system with a DTM (digital terrain model), land use map, housing density, and recent SPOT image backdrop and you’;d have yourself a hot dang national system.

    Of course you yourself would use a bowie knife, some string and a bottle of ordinary household bleach.

    Neville anyone can be an “expert” reviewer of the IPCC. Yawn. Hockey stick has been more vindicated not destroyed (Pages 2K) but I forget you don’t anything except blogs do you? McIntyre needs to get published – who has time to plough through all his alleged conspiracies. Yawn.

    BTW nukes need to properly sited – not over the San Andreas fault, in full view of a tsunami landing point, have 4 gen safety passive loss of power and coolant safety, low pressure,, consume all their waste and perhaps be Thorium based.

  298. Neville October 30, 2013 at 8:08 am #

    John Connor from the dud Climate Institute has an expensive, job destroying message for Halloween.


    He sure is a spooky bloke with a frightful message. Just price co2 at a monster $23 a tonne and we’ll be okay.
    I think he needs to update his understanding of simple kindy maths and use a bit of logic and reasoning.
    Plus he could look at past proxy records of much warmer earlier Holocene temps as well.

  299. cohenite October 30, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    Are those his legs?

  300. Neville October 30, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    I don’t know Cohers, but they all seem to have their fair share of vanity. Could be, who knows?

    BTW good post from Roy Spencer pointing out the benefits of more co2, 3.5 trillion $ bonus isn’t too bad.


  301. Robert October 30, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    Note how Supercell does it. He creates an argument nobody has made…and proceeds to argue against it!

    The problem is not that Roger Underwood is wrong, but that somebody called Roger Underwood – who can’t possibly be the bloke who wrote the article above – thinks he has discovered new fire control regimes. Either that, or there are readers here who think nobody knew till Roger came along. Who might these people be, who regard fuel reduction as a novelty? Nobody around here, of course, but that doesn’t matter to our Supercell once he feels he has a few snappy hipster lines he just has to unload. Like a true hipster, he was “into” everything long before the rest of us – which is why we should not comment on the hopeless green policies in fire and fuel reduction which have infested our bureaucracies and centres of decision making. If he can find an article somewhere on the subject of fuel loads, it will be adduced as proof of something that is not even in dispute. That just for cred, of course. Hipsters love cred.

    He mixes this up with plenty of extrapolation (Supe, like a true warmie, thinks in pure extrapolation) and some huffy, self-important references to science he may vaguely grasp along with links he may have half-read.

    Like the hockeystick, he’s all STUNT. Unlike the hockeystick, he’s at least amusing. That’s why we love him, in all his pretentious doltishness. Like Willis Eschenbach, he can entertain, and that is no small thing. I really mean it, Supe. At least you entertain.

    (By the way, that latest reductio ad absurdum about not putting nukes on the San Andreas fault? Some of your best work, Supe! Nobody does the dud opponent and ridiculous extrapolation like you. Keep coming back with your tales of unfired Pilligas and Roger Underwood’s Higgs Boson delusions. Nothing has to be accurate to entertain, and I can assure you we don’t look for accuracy in your case. You really brighten the place up.)

  302. toby October 30, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    In the OZ today he writes “”People won’t be able to continue to pretend that the rest of the world isn’t taking action,”

    – See more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/call-to-cut-deeper-on-emissions/story-e6frg6xf-1226749298939#sthash.s8k0lLBy.dpuf

    seriously what an idiot, is he really naïve enough to believe the world is acting?

    Ignorance is not a defence when you are advocating for a change in the way an economy is run. one might even say he was a climate criminal for wanting to destroy jobs and living standards in a platitude to his god Gaia.

  303. Robert October 30, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    Toby, they’ll take anything, any shred, as proof of international “action” to disgrace us into impoverishing ourselves. Some comedians have been touting South Korea’s grandstanding in APEC. That was about getting a bureaucratic trough installed in Korea, the APEC Climate Center (APCC). As one of Australia’s biggest coal and mineral customers, Korea can afford to draw some pretty curtains across its stupendous “carbon” economy. China, now our biggest customer, is perpetually “moving toward” emissions reduction, just as it perpetually emits more and more. We really have to stop being the dupes in all this and treat it like the game it is. And don’t get me started on the latest manipulations of Strasbourg and Brussels. Gillard actually wanted to tip us into that European snakepit called, for mystifying reasons, a “market”.

    If you consider the scale and enormous cost of real conservation, the kind of valuable action suggested by Roger Underwood and discussed on this thread, it’s obvious we need all our dollars at home. Otherwise it’s just more incinerated bush and more of our marvellous coal wastefully incinerated in ageing clunkers. Our Green Betters, among their other anti-achievements, are great at finding ways to emit. It’s not just their jet trails!

  304. Luke October 30, 2013 at 10:21 am #


    “which is why we should not comment on the hopeless green policies in fire and fuel reduction which have infested our bureaucracies and centres of decision making.”

    or you are the STUNT and have made most of this up ! fabricated politico-bunk

    real intent to do anything = trail bikes and canoes ! (thanks we’ll call you)

    As to the Pilliga “forest” being a European construct – read Eric Rolls book Million Wild Acres and stop being an ecological ignoramus.

    “Impoverished?” you’ve never had it so good – stop sooking

  305. Luke October 30, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    Robert – instead of sneering about grassland / woodland conversion – try some of the graphic tree piccies in here http://www.frcc.org.au/documents/1260485086_fitzroy_river_catchments_2.pdf

    Page 5 explicitly shows the power of fire in changing vegetation.

  306. Luke October 30, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    Re Neville’s http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/the-social-benefit-of-carbon-3-5-trillion-in-agricultural-productivity/

    Pity its all modelled bunk though eh?

    FACE experiments never show the increase in yields that lab experiments do.

    And you haven’t taken out the vast damage caused by CO2 in thickening C3 woodies in savannas across the globe. See http://www.frcc.org.au/documents/1260485086_fitzroy_river_catchments_2.pdf some role of CO2 in thsi phenomenon as well.

    So what rot Neville – and from an impeccable denialist source too.

  307. Robert October 30, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    Somebody is challenging Eric Rolls and the special nature of the Pilliga? Somebody is saying we are presently impoverished? Somebody thinks trail bikes and canoes are the limit of proposed action?

    And this person is called Robby?

    It’s all he ever does, isn’t it? He invents arguments nobody is making…and argues against the fictitious arguments! For some cinema-verite, he invents characters who disagree with him on matters never raised…and gives them the names of people on this blog.

    The real doozy was the time he told us we should not pay out on the execrable David Suzuki because there had recently been a massacre in Nairobi. But that was on a bad day, when he couldn’t be bothered with stunts. I like it when he puts a bit of thought into his non-rebuttals of non-existent arguments.

  308. Luke October 30, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    Well ROBERT – it’s supposed to be a science based discussion of enviro politics not a codger-fest of rat dirt scratchings and over the fence tall tales

  309. Robert October 30, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    While I am baffled as to the identity of the Robert guilty of “sneering about grassland / woodland conversion” something told me Luke’s link might be interesting. I can’t think why he linked to Bill Burrows and his work, but who cares? It’s actually very interesting, and shows some of that non-conformity and openness we see in so many of the conservation people known to and mentioned here by Jennifer:

    All soils and situations differ so greatly that I’d hesitate to tell anyone what to do on their own block. Moso bamboo has proven to be an ideal climax species here, but it can’t grow as fast as wattle scrub. My present policy is to keep fire off my place so eucalypts can grow where bamboo does not belong. In the long term, a burn might be good for those so called “native” areas.

    My firebreaks would be too full of bracken, blady and lantana etc if I burnt them down. I slash once a year, let some animals have light pick, and one day I’d like to muck around with a bruising chain for the bracken. It all depends what you are trying to achieve. Bill could do better than me, of course. I just know how to give moso the right cover, slope and exposure, and get it to survive animal attack. I’m crafty at that, but that’s about my limit. Really, when you have hilly, acidic, marginal country moso is the go: safe, edible and beautiful…but mine needs another few years of wet springs. Once I have enough acres of adult poles, drought is just an excuse to relax. Not now!

    Wonderful to see the great man hooking into the sinister WWF:

  310. Neville October 30, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    Luke even CSIRO concludes that extra co2 has provided a boost to cereal crops of 18%. Sure woody weeds and all plants get a boost as well.

    Here’s more BS from that silly McKibben. http://joannenova.com.au/2013/10/bill-mcgibben-says-wind-is-cheap-as-coal-jo-nova-says-so-who-needs-a-carbon-tax/#more-31472

    Talk about telling porkie pies , this fool is the expert. But Jo and Tony from OZ give us the facts.

  311. bazza October 30, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    challenge issued to me from: toby October 29th, 2013 at 11:45 am “Kindy maths is all you need to work out that developing nations emissions are and will continue to outstrip the wests”, . I would like to have a go but you will need to be happy with my kindy assumptions by providing same. For each group we need to assume some level and trend of emissions control and a counterfactual moving baseline to compare emissions with. (I wont laugh if you get help from Wikipedia or if you are in bed with the Neville, also the suppository of all knowledge; clever Hunt , isn’t he).
    There are already 40 or so countries with some emissions controls. And as the Climate Change Authority announced today “over the past two decades Australia has achieved solid economic growth while halving its emissions intensity (emissions per unit of GDP).” So we would need to agree on assumptions for trends in E/GDP for each group. Also which GHG do you think I should include and what about trends in emissions from bushfires, forestry, land use etc etc. I am sure you have researched all these issues. Over to you to get me started. And you are wondering whether I am a liar or a political activist; maybe I am neither or both?

  312. toby October 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    Bazza, if you seriously think the world is doing anything but mouthing platitudes you are a bigger fool than you are a smart arse….you don’t really think those 40 emission controls mean anything do you?

    So do you disagree with the points I made to my class?

    are you really questioning if developing countries ( which includes china and india) are producing more emissions than the west?

    This article says all that needs to be said about the worlds emission trading schemes…..

    IT is natural that when Tony Abbott told Asia-Pacific leaders he was going to repeal Australia’s carbon tax he found no opposition, and a good deal of support instead. He mentioned it in plenary sessions and bilateral meetings with all the leaders.
    In taking this action, Abbott is bringing us into line with Asia-Pacific practice. There is not one significant national carbon tax or emissions trading scheme operating anywhere in the Asia-Pacific.

    One of the most disagreeable defects of the Rudd and Gillard governments was the way they so often misrepresented reality, especially international reality. They tried to do this on such a scale that ultimately the public could see through it on many issues, especially boats and climate change.

    The politics of climate change the world over is full of rhetoric and devoid of action. If Australians are being asked to pay a tax, even if it’s called an emissions trading scheme, they should compare what other countries are actually doing, not what some politician might once have said.

    The ABC in particular runs a constant propaganda campaign in favour of the idea that the world is moving to put a price on carbon. But the information is never specific. Any ABC interviewer with a speck of competence or professional standards should always ask the following: Name the specific scheme? Is it actually in operation? How much of the economy does it cover? What is the price of carbon? How much revenue does it raise?

    You can impose no real cost on your economy, but still have a scheme to brag about if you have economy-wide coverage but a tiny price, or a big price but a tiny coverage. Either way you have a good headline scheme to fool the ABC with.

    But here are some actual facts. The UN Framework Convention on Climate has 195 members. Only 34 of those use anything resembling an emissions trading scheme. Of those, 27 are in the EU scheme. No one in the Asia-Pacific has an effective scheme.

    What about these Chinese schemes we hear so much about on the ABC? There are seven designated pilot projects in China. One – that’s right, one – has begun operation. That is in Shenzhen. So far all the permits are given away for free. It has had no impact at all on carbon emissions.

    The Chinese government has indicated it may look at a national scheme for the five-year plan from 2016. This is at most speculative, and there are a million ways it could be completely ineffective, which is almost certainly the result. China is by far the world’s biggest polluter. Its per capita emissions are now comparable with Europe’s. It has some plans to reduce carbon intensity, that is, the amount of carbon per unit of production, but no plans to reduce the absolute size of its emissions.

    Japan has effectively abandoned plans for an ETS. No economy-wide carbon tax or ETS is operating today. South Korea has a plan, but it will issue all permits for free in the first period and is looking to redesign its scheme partly to avoid the impact on electricity prices, which Australia’s scheme had. New Zealand has a notional scheme, but the price is a meaningless $1 per tonne.

    The US has no carbon tax or ETS and is unlikely ever to have one. The separate Californian scheme is frequently adduced by pro-tax Australian partisans. But this scheme covers only 37 per cent of emissions, compared with the Australian tax that covered 60 per cent of our emissions. More importantly, in California, 90 per cent of permits for electricity are given for free.

    The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative covers several northern states in the US. But the price is $2.55 per tonne and it covers only electricity.

    Canada does not have an ETS or a carbon tax. The Quebec scheme covers a minority of emissions and because the province is so reliant on hydro-electricity the scheme has little impact.

    Some of the biggest carbon emitters in Asia – like Indonesia and India – not only do not have national carbon taxes or ETS schemes, they have massive fuel subsidies to make carbon-based fuels accessible to all their people. A fuel subsidy is the opposite of a carbon tax, it is a carbon subsidy.

    The European scheme has a price of about $7. Famously, it covers a substantially smaller proportion of its emissions than our carbon tax did. Equally famously, in its first five years it tended to raise about $500 million a year whereas our carbon tax raised $9 billion a year. So all of Europe combined imposed a cost on itself of one-18th of the cost Australia imposed on itself.

    Europe also allows, within its scheme, a certain amount of imports of Certified Emission Reduction Units, basically UN-approved carbon credits created in Third World countries. The price for these shonky bits of paper has now fallen below $1 per tonne.

    Labor’s Mark Butler was yesterday repeating the ALP mantra, much recited, too, by the Greens and the ABC, that not a single reputable climate scientist or economist endorses direct action of the kind Abbott and his minister, Greg Hunt, propose. This is untrue. The vast majority of the governments of the world, certainly the US and Canada, are using direct action mechanisms to address greenhouse gas emissions.

    The rise of gas as an energy source has been the key driver of reductions in the US, but tighter automobile emissions standards and many other direct action measures have also been important. Australia would be extremely foolish to move substantially faster or further than most of the world. That is what we did in the biggest way with our hugely destructive carbon tax.

    To compare ourselves with the world we must be absolutely accurate about what the world is actually, really doing in its physical manifestation today, not what some EU bureaucrat or NGO activist is willing to say in an always unchallenging ABC interview. Even within Europe’s compromised scheme there is a great deal of re-thinking as economic logic trumps climate change piety.

    The carbon tax and the ETS are based on a complete misrepresentation of what other countries are doing. Australians have never voted for either an ETS or a carbon tax and, unless the world changes radically, are unlikely to do so in the future.”

  313. Toby October 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    “And you are wondering whether I am a liar or a political activist; maybe I am neither or both?”

    they go hand in hand most of the time and judging from your comments on here you do have intelligence, so to state that the world is acting in any real way makes you a liar and a political activist.

  314. Luke October 30, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    So the opposite of liar and activist with be a virtuous inactivist. And that Bazza is why we should keep the flag the same.

  315. toby October 30, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    so Luke…you really think the world is acting?… you’ve agreed before they aren’t, but cos you want to support your comrade you turn me into a virtuous inactivist?

    What would you have me do? I was a founding member of the climate sceptics, but had no interest once they started involving themselves in other parties interests that I didn’t agree with.

    I teach mainly because I am trying to counter the insane left wing attitude and also political correctness that pervades so many schools and the AEU.

    I probably said a couple of things to baz I should not have done, but his constant snide and sarcastic comments that he tries to throw in with an occasional point detract from his opinion.

    In a pub you and I could have a great conversation and walk away agreeing to disagree. Baz would need to walk away pretty quickly or it would get nasty. I suspect he is the sort of driver that pulls a caravan doing 90-95 in a single lane and then speeds up to 105 when the over taking lane comes along……..

  316. toby October 30, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    we don’t need to “assume” anything?

    there in lies your problem maybe??

    the west has developed and has had the opportunity to burn fossil fuels to help its development.

    The developing are hoping like hell to live like us, own a car, a washing machine a dishwasher tv etc etc, live in a decent house that they can heat and cool…….all reasonable hopes I would think?

    all of which will mean increasing emissions. As u and the climate change authority say, our emissions are actually falling in “intensity”. Europe and the USA having been in a recession have apparently actually cut their emission levels…….has Asia?

    Shut us down today, and China will make up for our shortfall very quickly indeed. So we are irrelevant short of discovering new technology. I cant see how anybody can not see that?!

  317. Debbie October 30, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    The opposite?
    That’s highly amusing.
    A ‘virtuous inactivist’ would be just as insufferable as ‘a liar and an activist’.
    As I have commented a few times here. . . NRM should not be about politics at all. . . . It usually doesn’t work.
    And once again. . . with respect of course. . . please go take a look at the confusing, impractical and obstructive rules & regs that have prevented the sensible implementation of managing fire risk (the NSW native veg act is a good place to start but there are plenty of others) and then ask yourself from whence they came and which political ideology has driven them.
    And seriously. . . attempting to blame the NSW bushfires on CC and calling people ‘climate criminals’ is just a cheap and disrepectful political/media stunt and just as silly as me pretending there is a robust causal link between CC (but particularly CAGW) and my sprained ankle.
    Roger Underwood has outlined the general malaise. . . as you even said. . . he is on the money.
    It’s all very well to claim stuff about ‘interested ecologists’ but they’re not the problem are they?

  318. toby October 30, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    And far more should said about emissions per km of land and ability to absorb what is produced domestically…..rather than per capita numbers that take no account of land mass, travel distances, oceans and population density….but serve the warmist movement so well in painting us as serious damagers of the planet.

    maybe we should just allow some 10m migrants in and house them in tents…so we can hold our hands on our hearts and say we have cut our emissions per capita like it matters……and seem really virtuous. It would be as effective as a carbon tax in altering the climate. It would ruin the country of course , financially. socially and environmentally but gee our emissions per capita would look great!

  319. Luke October 30, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    Toby – what a faux argument you make – 7 billion humans – significant regional climate change – like threat of a drying sub-tropics with teasers already apparent not a good idea.

    And yes CO2 is plant food to an extent, CO2 is not pollution per se as is SO2, but it is a long lived radiative forcing agent which will make an impact on the planet’s energy balance.

    It’s not about “evil” CO2, paying penance, being damagers of the planet, Gaia or any other emotional try-ons. It’s simply serious risk management and good business practice. Yes we also don’t want perverse outcomes like growing biofuels on cleared rainforests. Let’s not be stupid.

    So mitigation of CO2 growth in the global atmosphere is a wise course of action. To do so requires all major emitters and emitters per capita to participate. A technological solution is available but with cost and controversy. That’s 4th gen nuclear and/or Thorium.

    All this ruining the country stuff is emotional nonsense. Need to move on and get over the silly stage this debate is in..

  320. Luke October 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    And it is about being perceptive – if you want to engage Bazza try to work out where he’s coming from. You might ask why does he think I Toby am disingenuous. (and you will be insulted and think “Humph I’m not disingenuous” but you should get beyond that (IMO of course).

    Also I now have to sit up the back at coven and collective meetings (Just fanning your confirmation bias here) – as I phrase most of your arguments to friends, colleagues and pub bogans with a juxtaposed warmist position. So I’m now labelled as a denier.

    So much conflict (yes blame me) but so little exploration as to why people think the way they do. Much more interesting. And attitude to risk. Why some see the risk as important and others see it as a sham. Why so?

  321. toby October 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    IF the world was genuinely trying to act I would, whilst still being sceptical of much of the science, have no problems with us seeking to curb emissions.

    But we know currently that is not happening and bazza believes the “climate institute/ authority” that the world is acting is ignoring the real facts (does he really believe what is so blatantly untrue?…or is he just stirring the pot?).

    the article I posted above makes it abundantly obvious that we imposed a cost on our economy that was considerably more than anybody else…indeed probably raised more real money than all of them together!?

    and bazza has posted links and comment telling us a carbon price is the way to go?! until the really significant players decide to do something really tangible it is economic stupidity to act with a big tax. ( I know you don’t support the tax)

    Economically I would agree if you really want to cut emissions in a “theoretical world,” a price on co2 would be an effective way to cut emissions (and probably the most effective). But in the real world it will just be open to fraud, make the traders rich and probably achieve very little at vast expense

  322. toby October 30, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    “Why some see the risk as important and others see it as a sham. Why so?” A very fair question.

    some like me, see it as a question of maybe we have found the reason for the world warming up but until a solution arises, imposing things like a carbon tax are just insanity. platitudes are for fools.

    risk should always be considered in the context of costs and benefits

    others strongly dispute the science; our mild warming is not unprecedented, has not occurred at a particularly unusual rate and the models exaggerate the warming influence. 15-17 years of no global warming certainly gives them ammunition.. ( I am partly in this camp as well), you could add the diminishing impact of additional co2, the fact a mild 0.8c is not such a bad thing and much of that can be attributed to impacts like land clearing, UHI and even the sun. which means that the influence of co2 is probably much exaggerated. We could also throw in that negative feedback effects undoubtedly act on the planet whilst the models suggest positive feedback effects to create scary scenarios which are then used to feed the mania.

    others I suspect are so worried about humanities rapid population growth and world of finite resources that any problem has to be related back to humans….and co2 is a green house gas, it is rising in the atmosphere and hence it is the problem.

    Others believe the science because only a fool would argue with scientists…they must know that is what they spend their time doing.

    many haven’t thought about it at all but get wound up by massive exaggerations and distortions.

    many are caught up in group think.history is littered with examples of group think and scientists are very much part of that group.

    too many media activists exaggerate and distort for either honourable ( yet ignorant IMO) reasons or to get rich.

    governments can see an easy source of new funds to bribe the electorates with and they love trying to control us, it gives them purpose, power and importance.

    And then of course there are those that follow the science and believe it to be true and cant understand how anybody could question it.

    One thing is certainly true, the science is not settled.

  323. Luke October 30, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    Good grief – an actual exchange of views ! Thanks Toby.

  324. spangled drongo October 30, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

    Well said Toby, most warmers’ attitudes are like this:

    “The Greens, most politicians of any hue, many climate scientists and academics, ABC and Age journalists, and countless others, seem to show all the signs of having effectively fallen in love with global warming, just as Strangelove fell in love with the Bomb. Each cyclone, flood, bushfire, or drought seems to whet their appetite for yet more destructive havoc to be wreaked on the crass material world by the wrathful god of global warming. We told you so, springs readily to their salivating lips.”


  325. spangled drongo October 30, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    And even their scientists admit it:

    “To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest.”

    Stephen Schneider, Stanford University, senior “Team” member

  326. Debbie October 30, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    Yes! Well said Toby.
    Particularly your comment at 3:46.
    The figs are being used to paint Australia as serious damagers of the planet.
    As some like to say here….it’s bogus!
    Comparatively, Australia is underpopulated.
    Using per capita figs is an old ruse.

  327. Luke October 30, 2013 at 10:11 pm #

    I enjoy catching Spangled making up crap


    Quadrant what a shitful right wing rag for Tea Party types.

  328. Luke October 30, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I also love denialiti who truncate quotes in 60 minutes style:

    Schneider actually said …. and further commented later

    “On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell
    the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but – which means that we must include all doubts, the caveats,
    the ifs, ands and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like
    most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to
    reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad based
    support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So
    we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any
    doubts we might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any
    formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I
    hope that means being both.”

    It is strange that The News should accuse me of trying to hide scientific uncertainty through this quote,
    when by the very nature of explaining the dilemma I am being unusually forthright in trying to show how
    all scientists face a bind when forced to communicate in short sound bites in the media what the essence
    of a controversial complex problem is.

  329. toby October 31, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    Luke, whilst the full quote justifies his reason for exaggeration it does not make it ok (IMO).

    I think David Murray makes the point well in this interview last night. He also seems to hold a similar opinion to many of us on this blog.

    EMMA ALBERICI: The latest IPCC report – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – was written by 250 authors from 39 countries, subjected to a review involving more than 1,000 experts. What would it take to convince you of the science?

    DAVID MURRAY: When I see some evidence of integrity amongst the scientists themselves…

    EMMA ALBERICI: Didn’t the Climate Commission achieve that consensus?…

    DAVID MURRAY: Yes, but when we have the thing so highly politicised and when we have the head of a Climate Commission making wildly exaggerated statements about sea level, it just doesn’t help.

    And Terry McCrann points out the stupidity of the climate change authorities latest report…


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