Eastern Australia is on Fire

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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by Broomstick » 2019-11-28 04:15pm

Two things can happen to burned over area, depending on the exact nature of the fire that passes over it.

Most commonly, and one would dare say "naturally" (although in many instances the "natural" areas were affected by thousands of years of humans starting fires for various reasons) although the mature plants/above ground growth is burned/killed the plants that store nutrients underground send up new shoots, seeds that required fire for germination start growing, other seeds survive either being slightly buried or in the dens of burrowing animals, some of the same animals that shelter underground come back up to the surface, and all the new growth benefits from small animal dung, nutrients released by the ash left by the burning, and decay of things that didn't survive.

If you have an extremely intense fire, though (such as can occur when there is years and years of fuel build up, or other confluence of circumstances) the ground sterilized - the heat penetrates the ground sufficiently to kill roots, animals in their burrows, seeds that are fire resistant... in which case you get a burned-over dead area that has be recolonized from the edges inward, meanwhile subjected to all sorts of erosion which can depleted nutrients and is not good for the area. Recovery from that will take much longer, of course.

In fire-dependent landscapes the normal fires, although possibly devastating in the short term, bring new growth. (Unless you're talking about fragmented ecosystems, where you get island populations vulnerable to being wiped out by a single fire. Then you get extinctions.)
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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by The_Saint » 2019-12-05 07:42pm

Broomstick wrote:
2019-11-28 04:15pm
Two things can happen to burned over area, depending on the exact nature of the fire that passes over it.

Most commonly, and one would dare say "naturally" (although in many instances the "natural" areas were affected by thousands of years of humans starting fires for various reasons) although the mature plants/above ground growth is burned/killed the plants that store nutrients underground send up new shoots, seeds that required fire for germination start growing, other seeds survive either being slightly buried or in the dens of burrowing animals, some of the same animals that shelter underground come back up to the surface, and all the new growth benefits from small animal dung, nutrients released by the ash left by the burning, and decay of things that didn't survive.

If you have an extremely intense fire, though (such as can occur when there is years and years of fuel build up, or other confluence of circumstances) the ground sterilized - the heat penetrates the ground sufficiently to kill roots, animals in their burrows, seeds that are fire resistant... in which case you get a burned-over dead area that has be recolonized from the edges inward, meanwhile subjected to all sorts of erosion which can depleted nutrients and is not good for the area. Recovery from that will take much longer, of course.

In fire-dependent landscapes the normal fires, although possibly devastating in the short term, bring new growth. (Unless you're talking about fragmented ecosystems, where you get island populations vulnerable to being wiped out by a single fire. Then you get extinctions.)
^^ This ... or at least a version thereof.

In Australia a large percentage of our flora is regenerative from fire... In fact a number of species ABSOLUTELY REQUIRE heat from fires to break open seed pods and the like. (One of) The problem resulting is that instead of more frequent, less intense fires we're now getting fewer much more intense fires that don't just "crack open the seed pods" but incinerate them into ashes.


Another aspect of the much vaunted bulldozer driven fire break that occurred in my state in a bushfire less than a year ago (last summer, Dec/Jan) was that the fire was started by dry lightning strikes inside a world heritage area. Now firstly, you can't drive a bulldozer willy nilly through a world heritage area... it's off limits for all sorts of legal reasons, secondly even if you were allowed to go rampaging with a bulldozer there's no way you could have got it in there short of parachuting it in.


I understand that we may seem a bit testy down here in Aussie land..... but yes, we well understand bushfires, (Australian fire management specialists are regularly over in the USA telling them how to deal with Californian wildfires), we understand firebreaks and fuel reduction via controlled burns... we understand weather and climate change and how all the usual practices are failing because timing of seasons are off and rainfall patterns are all out the window and our opportunities to undertake fire management strategies are reduced....

What we don't understand are all the idiots who blithely write climate change off as a hoax and think thoughts and prayers will prevent further catastrophes.... and some of those idiots are in our own government!


[tl:dr; I'm a bit sore on this topic]
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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by Broomstick » 2019-12-06 04:35am

I'm getting pretty pissed off about the climate change denial myself, even if I have the lucky happenstance to live in an area that isn't horribly affected and is likely to have relatively minimal impacts. We're starting to see effects even here, and I keep wanting to bitch-slap people who still can't or won't see the problem. Even worse for those who live where the impacts are already landing.
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Australia wildfires 'too big to put out', authorities warn.

Post by EnterpriseSovereign » 2019-12-07 08:23pm

It's grown beyond anyone's ability to extinguish:
Authorities and residents have found themselves overwhelmed as they try to battle wildfires in Australia, with some people being told blazes near their homes are now "too big" to extinguish.

Across the east of the country 150 fires are raging, fanned by high winds and dry conditions on the ground.

Even for a country that used to wildfires, the scale and severity of these infernos is causing alarm.

In New South Wales, just north of Sydney, the country's biggest city, a cauldron larger than the metropolis is burning.

Pilots have attempted using aerial support to douse flames, with one helicopter ended its mission with a crash landing.

Crews from New Zealand and Canada are joining efforts to douse the flames.

So far, six people have died as a result of the fires, which have been alight since October.

Weather officials warned the largest blames fires cannot be put out by water-bombing aircraft or by crews tackling from ground level.

The New South Wales Bureau of Meteorology said: "The massive NSW fires are in some cases just too big to put out at the moment. They’re pumping out vast amounts of smoke which is filling the air, turning the sky orange and even appearing like significant rain on our radars."

Authorities now aim to contain the fires until there's enough rain to put them out, which forecasters say, could take weeks.
Last updated Sat 7 Dec 2019
Link.

In essence, they're praying for rain.
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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by Broomstick » 2019-12-08 03:38pm

Yes, praying for rain and letting them burn out on their own. Get the people (and whatever else of value you can) out of the way.

Sounds like you have a real firestorm on your hands.
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Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by EnterpriseSovereign » 2020-01-03 02:01pm

The Australian PM is being ridiculed for his handling (or lack thereof) of things- taking inspiration from the Teresa May method of dealing with Grenfell.
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Just because you have the attention span of a fruit fly doesn't mean the rest of us are so encumbered.

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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by Gandalf » 2020-01-04 11:01am

Some local updates:

The post office is not currently doing deliveries in Canberra. National capital. No mail.

The AQI (Air Quality Index) here is in Hazardous, and has been since mid December or so. Hazardous is when the rating is at 200+, as there's none higher. Today in the CBD it was over four fucking thousand. Today it was over forty degrees, and we couldn't open a window or run the aircon.

The Prime Minister is in all sorts of shit. Look up the video of him in Cobargo for a good laugh as a photo op goes wrong.

Look at the Reddit for Canberra, and you see that people are going nuts trying to get breathing masks so they can fucking go outside without dying.

I'm free to take questions if anyone's interested.
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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by Ace Pace » 2020-01-04 12:03pm

Gandalf wrote:
2020-01-04 11:01am
I'm free to take questions if anyone's interested.
What are local government services doing about this health crises? What are local politicians saying?
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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by Gandalf » 2020-01-04 04:17pm

Ace Pace wrote:
2020-01-04 12:03pm
What are local government services doing about this health crises?
Fire services are doing amazing work with the fires. Parts of the military are helping to evacuate people trapped on beaches. Local government offices are shut because of smoke. In my area, hospitals dealing with a lot of people with smoke inhalation issues. I've had to miss work because of it, and I wear a mask while outside.
What are local politicians saying?
Not a whole lot aside from praising the firefighters. Labor and Greens also mention climate change, and the fact that the PM decided to stay on holiday as this crisis got worse. Lots of speculation that there'll be another spill soon, because the PM is looking toxic. Lots of shots of local MPs helping out in places by distributing supplies. It's still in the photo op/general statement phase of things for most politicians.
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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by Col. Crackpot » 2020-01-04 07:58pm

Damn that’s awful. Stay safe Gandalf.

I Was in California back in November and watched Cal Fire “water bomb” the Cave Fire in Santa Barbara county with a DC 10 tanker. amazed by the sheer fucking guts it must take to do low level drops in such a massive aircraft. These fires in Australia are orders of magnitude worse. Firefighters are a different breed and we are lucky to share the world with such people.
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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by Gandalf » 2020-01-04 09:43pm

Interestingly, a lot of our rural firefighters are volunteers. Of course, our conservative governments cut the shit out of their funding, so charities are doing huge volume to make up the slack.
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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by EnterpriseSovereign » 2020-01-05 10:58am

Gandalf wrote:
2020-01-04 09:43pm
Interestingly, a lot of our rural firefighters are volunteers. Of course, our conservative governments cut the shit out of their funding, so charities are doing huge volume to make up the slack.
That casts P!nk's donation of half a million dollars in a different light.

This illustrates the scale of the fires: Australia's wildfires turn New Zealand sky bright orange.
The Australian wildfires have turned the sky orange more than 1,600 miles away in New Zealand.

In Auckland, eerie pictures show a sky lit up bright orange as smoke from Australia's bushfires passes over.

It comes as a 24th person was killed as the bushfires continue to devastate the country.

Thousands of homes have been destroyed since the fires began in September in what is being called the worst fire season on record.

Sunday saw milder temperatures and brought hope of a respite for firefighters tackling the ferocious flames in three Australian states.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended his leadership and his government's record on climate change.

Mr Morrison has faced widespread criticism for taking a family holiday at the start of the crisis, his sometimes distracted approach as it has escalated and his slowness in deploying resources.

But he told a news conference it was not the time for blame.

As dawn broke over a blackened landscape on Sunday, a picture emerged of disaster of unprecedented scale.

The Rural Fire Service says 150 fires are still active, 64 of them uncontrolled.

The damage to the country’s unique wildlife is also considerable, as Australia's answer to the Galapagos Islands has been left devastated.

Wildfires over recent days have undone decades of careful conservation work on Kangaroo Island and have threatened to wipe out some of the island’s unique fauna altogether.

The island is a refuge for some of the country’s most endangered creatures.

But the fires have burned through one-third of the island, killing a father and son and leaving behind a scorched wasteland.

Experts working on the island say the fires have killed thousands of koalas and kangaroos, and also have raised questions about whether any members of a mouse-like marsupial species that carries its young in a pouch have survived.

Similarly, it remains unclear how many from a unique flock of glossy black-cockatoos got away from the flames and whether they have a future on an island where much of their habitat has gone up in smoke.

Once prevalent on the South Australia mainland, the birds retreated to the island after humans destroyed much of their traditional habitat.

Careful conservation work over the past 25 years has seen the glossy black-cockatoo population increase from 150, but those gains have been wiped out in the space of a week.

“Caring for all these animals is quite amazing,” said Sam Mitchell, co-owner of the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park.

“However, we are seeing a lot that are too far gone.

“We are seeing kangaroos and koalas with their hands burned off — they stand no chance.

"It’s been quite emotional.”

Mr Mitchell and his wife, Dana, are currently caring for about 18 burned koalas, and they have had to euthanise many more.

Located off the coast of South Australia state, Kangaroo Island is about 50% larger than Rhode Island and home to 4,500 people and what was a thriving ecotourism industry.
It seems like the entire continent is one massive firestorm.
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Just because you have the attention span of a fruit fly doesn't mean the rest of us are so encumbered.

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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by Gandalf » 2020-01-05 12:05pm

EnterpriseSovereign wrote:
2020-01-05 10:58am
That casts P!nk's donation of half a million dollars in a different light.
Indeed. Lots of people coming forward with food, money, and other aid. Absolutely fucking killing it.

Not so much the government, but I believe the PM is offering thoughts and prayers to all.
It seems like the entire continent is one massive firestorm.
It's a fucking horror show. Our beautiful wildlife is being burned to death. The smoke is choking the rest of us.
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by Broomstick » 2020-01-05 05:11pm

I am really sorry to hear about/see all of this. It's horrific.

While saving who and what can be saved yes, it IS the time for blame. This is climate change come home to roost.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by The_Saint » 2020-01-06 06:59am

To note, our PM started REALLY copping flack when he decided to secretly bugger off on holiday to Hawaii back around Christmas... there was a lot of discussion over the decision to go (amongst all his other decisions or lack of) but why was he on holiday then when his scheduled holiday is in January? Because this month he's scheduled to be off in India and SE Asia .... on a promo trip for the mining companies to sell coal!
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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by mr friendly guy » 2020-01-06 07:17am

Fire is also occurring elsewhere. Just saw that there is fire on Kangaroo Island as well. That's off the coast of South Australia. So far Western Australia where I am at has been spared, but we are kind of a hot state temperature wise compared to elsewhere, so here is hoping we manage to avoid the same disaster affecting the east.
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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by atg » 2020-01-08 05:31am

mr friendly guy wrote:
2020-01-06 07:17am
Fire is also occurring elsewhere. Just saw that there is fire on Kangaroo Island as well. That's off the coast of South Australia.
We've been getting a fair bit of smoke from that fire here in Adelaide the past few days. We also had a major fire in the Adelaide Hills around Christmas which took out 90+ homes last I heard.
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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by mr friendly guy » 2020-01-08 08:40am

Someone is going to say it, I told you so. Apparently Ross Garnaut who wrote an economic report on the affects of climate change just did.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-08/ ... e/11848388
Ross Garnaut's climate change prediction is coming true and it's going to cost Australia billions, experts warn
By business reporter Nassim Khadem
Updated earlier today at 7:28am

Twelve years ago, economist Ross Garnaut made a prophecy that has devastatingly come true.

Key points:
The insurance damage bill from the bushfires that began in September has risen to $700 million
Conservative estimates put the final cost well into the billions of dollars
Australia's tourism industry could suffer, health costs could spike and there are warnings about more climate-related litigation
In the 2008 Garnaut Climate Change Review, which examined the scientific evidence around the impacts of climate change on Australia and its economy, he predicted that without adequate action, the nation would face a more frequent and intense fire season by 2020.

Speaking to the ABC about the latest bushfires and the potential economic fallout, Professor Garnaut refrained from taking a direct shot at policymakers who ignored many of the review's calls for action.

But he noted: "If you ignore the science when you build a bridge, the bridge falls down."


"If you ignore the science when you build a plane, the plane crashes."

The initial damage bill from Australian bushfires that began in September has risen to $700 million, according to Insurance Council of Australia estimates, and is likely to grow.

ICA's Campbell Fuller told ABC News that 1,838 homes have been destroyed across Australia since September and there have been 8,985 insurance claims for fire-related damage and destruction.

But insured losses are just a small part of wider economic losses.

The total cost of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires was estimated at $4.4 billion.

Conservative estimates put the final cost of the current Australian bushfires well into billions of dollars, while some analysts say it could cost the economy $20 billion in lost output.

Economist says cost could hit $3.5 billion
The head of economic analysis at SGS Economics and Planning, Terry Rawnsley, has done some early estimates on the economic cost of the bushfires.

Based on previous modelling of the Tathra fires in 2018, and taking account of $700 million worth of insured losses, the economic fallout from the latest fires could be as high as $3.5 billion, he said.

Between $2 billion to $3 billion includes the direct costs to fire-affected regions such as the loss of tourism and retail income, and the impact on agricultural production.

He predicts that some of the worst-affected communities will never fully recover.

And smoke haze in major capital cities could be an additional $500 million drag on the economy.

"These are places not directly impacted by bushfires, but people aren't out and about, and people are calling in sick with respiratory and asthma illnesses," he said.

The Yarra River and Melbourne skyline which is shrouded in a thick haze.
PHOTO: Smoke haze in major capital cities including Melbourne could be an additional $500 million drag on the economy, says SGS Economics. (ABC News: Cathy Jacobs)
Mr Rawnsley said while SGS Economics had modelled the loss of income from livestock such as sheep and cattle being destroyed, it had not modelled the actual loss of the assets (the loss of the sheep and cattle itself).

Professor Tom Kompas, one of three chief investigators in the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis (CEBRA) at the University of Melbourne, said the economic cost of the bushfires would be "massive".

He said he intended to do precise modelling on the impact later this month.

Other bushfire insurance losses (normalised to 2017 dollars):
Black Saturday (2009): $1.76 billion
Ash Wednesday 1983 (Vic, SA, NSW): $2.46 billion
Canberra 2003 bushfires: $839.4 million
Victorian Alpine Bushfires 1985: $854 million
(Source: Insurance Council of Australia)
His earlier research on economic impacts of climate change had predicted $1.2 trillion in cumulative damages from now to 2050 assuming a global temperature increase of 3.8-4C by 2100.

But the $1.2 trillion in losses looks at infrastructure lost due to sea-level rise, losses in agricultural and labour productivity and limited human health and biodiversity impacts.

"It does not include the cost of bushfires on infrastructure and resulting increases in insurance premiums," he said.

"It also does not include damages from human health effects due to pollution and smoke-related illnesses, losses in tourism, losses to major environmental assets … or the costs of emergency management, recovery and relocation."

Estimated $20 billion could be wiped off GDP
AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver estimated a reduction of between 0.25 and 1 per cent in the level of national economic output as a result of the fires, which he forecast would show up mostly in the March quarter.

Based on Australia's gross domestic product (GDP) of about $2 trillion, a 1 per cent drag could equate to about $20 billion.

Still, even a lesser 0.25 per cent hit would be a major drag on economic growth, in an already slowing economy.

"The economic costs will clearly run into billions of dollars," Dr Oliver said.

Everyone would pay to some degree via higher premiums as insurance claims spiked, he said.

Fires reached Buchan in Victoria.
PHOTO: AMP's Shane Oliver says growth from rebuilding efforts will not become apparent until the June quarter or even later in the year. (Facebook: Buchan Caves Hotel)
And while the Federal Government's $2 billion cash injection was helpful and would assist rebuilding efforts, he said this lift in growth would not become apparent until the June quarter or even later in the year.

Economists at JP Morgan said in a research note that the immediate impacts on GDP remained hard to identify, but there would be a cost based on disruption to infrastructure and productive capital.

It said the Grattan Institute estimated that 80 per cent of Australia's GDP comes from 0.2 per cent of its land mass (generally its most densely populated areas), while major bushfires mostly occur "in non-productive, non-residential, and non-cleared land".

JP Morgan said there also could be "temporary offsetting positives to GDP", for example, excess hours worked by public servants, increased outlays by charitable organisations and government transfers.

Domestic and international tourism to take a big hit
Tourism Australia was reluctant to provide early economic estimates, with a spokesman saying the organisation was still gathering feedback from industry and monitoring impacts on future bookings.

But he said based on past severe weather events and natural disasters, "tourism is an extremely resilient sector".

Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) executive director Simon Westaway estimated the cost to the tourism industry could be hundreds of millions of dollars.

He said it was too early to know the exact cost, as there could be a six to nine-month lag.

Rows of grapevines at Nicholson River Winery.
PHOTO: Tourism losses as a result of the fires are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. (ABC News: Danny Tran)
The bushfires have impacted many parts of Australia during the peak of the holiday summer period, and could also hurt international inbound tourism due to global media coverage of the fires.

"We're getting early indications people are cancelling their bookings," Mr Westaway said.

"A number of our members are getting enquiries from Europe, with people asking whether it is safe to travel here [to Australia] three months down the track."

According to data released by Tourism Research Australia in December, Australia welcomed more than 9 million overseas visitors in 2018-19, and the total spend by domestic tourists and international visitors was $146 billion.

Tourism is Australia's fourth-largest export earner (behind iron ore, coal and natural gas), contributing $39.1 billion to Australia's economy in 2018–19.

GDP from all tourism was $60.8 billion in 2018-19, an increase of 6 per cent on 2017–18.

"It [tourism] is a major industry and perception is really important," Mr Westaway said.

More than 1 billion animals may be affected
Professor Chris Dickman at Sydney University has estimated more than 1 billion mammals, birds and reptiles may be affected by the bushfires.

He told the ABC that animals had been killed either directly by the flames, or could be killed indirectly by the lack of food, water and shelter resources in the burned environment, as well as predators such as feral cats and red foxes.

WWF-Australia chief executive Dermot O'Gorman said this heart-breaking loss included thousands of koalas on the mid-north coast of NSW, along with other iconic species such as kangaroos, wallabies, gliders, potoroos, cockatoos and honeyeaters.

The WWF also noted other losses including that of pollinators such as bees, moths and other insects, and the loss of trees.

A hand touching bees on the side of a beehive
PHOTO: WWF noted loss of pollinators such as bees would have a detrimental impact. (ABC News: Carl Saville)
"Many forests will take decades to recover and some species may have tipped over the brink of extinction," Mr O'Gorman said.

There are also more emissions being released into the atmosphere from the bushfires themselves.

A spokeswoman for the CSIRO told the ABC: "As the fires are still burning across vast areas of Australia, an accurate analysis of the total carbon dioxide emissions released from the bushfires is not possible."

Health impacts and climate-related litigation could rise
Dr John Iser from Doctors for the Environment, a group of medical professionals concerned about the health impacts of climate change, also said it was hard to predict the economic cost of the latest bushfires.

He said air pollution had risen above hazardous levels in many states, "but we really won't know the outcome of all the recent pollution exposure for some months".

"The particles in smoke get through to the bloodstream and there are other chemical compounds that are harmful for people who are prone to asthma and cardiovascular disease," he said.

Dr Rebecca Patrick, co-lead of the Health Sustainability Research Group at Deakin University, predicted the start of a new decade could see the rise of climate litigation.


Morrison's fires response has put his political judgement in question

Within the Government, there is widespread acknowledgement that Scott Morrison's Midas touch has gone missing, writes David Speers.
She expected more human rights and environmental justice lawsuits to be filed against fossil fuel companies and high-emission sectors.

The risk of climate-related litigation is something Australia's financial regulators have been warning about for a number of years now.

The Reserve Bank of Australia, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission have also cited risks posed by climate change as a major concern for the economy and financial stability.

Professor Garnaut is reluctant to put a dollar figure on the latest bushfire catastrophe.

"Any quantitative estimates just scratch the surface," he said.

"And most Australians would feel that even greater than economic losses, are the loss of beautiful places of Australian historical significance."
The ALP did try and do some policies to fight climate change such as a carbon tax, which was scrapped by a climate change denier who became the next PM. The arguments against were
a. China is doing anything about it - except they introduced their own tax
b. India isn't doing anything about - except they also introduced their own tax
c. The US isn't doing anything about - oh wait, no the right wing stopped making that argument early on even though the US was a bigger emitter than India.
d. We only contribute a small amount of carbon emissions. I guess therefore we don't need to do anything about it.
e. But mah taxes. Except those most affected got tax relief.
f.Mr Garnaut, are you a scientist or an economist (says the guy asking who just runs a small business, and certainly isn't a scientist. :lol: ).


I wonder how many of the climate change deniers actually live in rural and bushfire affected areas.
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mr friendly guy
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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by mr friendly guy » 2020-01-10 07:22am


Trevor Noah has some nice clips showing what a dick ScoMo was.
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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by Zaune » 2020-01-10 12:20pm

Gandalf wrote:
2020-01-04 11:01am
I'm free to take questions if anyone's interested.
Well, since you offered... Is anyone giving serious, constructive thought to questions like, "What happens when we run out of places to evacuate to?" or "How many consecutive years of this can we take before there isn't a country anymore?"
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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by The_Saint » 2020-01-11 05:02am

Zaune wrote:
2020-01-10 12:20pm
Gandalf wrote:
2020-01-04 11:01am
I'm free to take questions if anyone's interested.
Well, since you offered... Is anyone giving serious, constructive thought to questions like, "What happens when we run out of places to evacuate to?" or "How many consecutive years of this can we take before there isn't a country anymore?"
New Zealand introduces/copies Australia's policies regarding refugees and probably not as many as we'd like.
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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by Broomstick » 2020-01-11 05:12am

More questions:

Do you have problems with erosion/mudslides in the burned-over areas? The video I've seen is dramatic but not informative on this. I know California has problems with slides after fires, but that might be due to a number of factors that Australia may or may not share. I also am aware that Australia's problems are over a much wider area and might therefore have more types of terrain affected.

How thoroughly sterilized are the burned areas or is that unknown at this time? I'm curious, because the more area that is able to regenerate on its own the better off Australia - both human and wild - is going to be. I'm assuming, given the fire-prone nature of the landscape, that at least some of the plants and/or their seeds are adapted to periodic burning. The question is really how much of the burned area was exposed to incinerating-able-to-melt-aluminum temperatures vs. something more like a normal burn-over, just more extensive in are than normal.

Any thoughts towards re-foresting/human assistance in re-establishing ground cover or is that a ridiculous question? Keep in mind, I'm not expert in either Australia or wildfires so that may well be a wild notion born of ignorance of the total situation and a desire to here that something positive can be done.
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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by Zaune » 2020-01-11 11:44am

The_Saint wrote:
2020-01-11 05:02am
New Zealand introduces/copies Australia's policies regarding refugees and probably not as many as we'd like.
In their defence, New Zealand isn't really in a position to absorb some twenty-seven and a half million people all by themselves.
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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by The_Saint » 2020-01-13 03:20am

Broomstick wrote:
2020-01-11 05:12am
More questions:

Do you have problems with erosion/mudslides in the burned-over areas? The video I've seen is dramatic but not informative on this. I know California has problems with slides after fires, but that might be due to a number of factors that Australia may or may not share. I also am aware that Australia's problems are over a much wider area and might therefore have more types of terrain affected.
Well we have the slight benefit that Australia on the whole is, relatively speaking, flat. There is also the factor that a lot of native vegetation is fire-regenerative so you get a fire, everything's black, a smidge of rain and then everything's green. Though this is reliant in part on the next question.
Broomstick wrote:
2020-01-11 05:12am
How thoroughly sterilized are the burned areas or is that unknown at this time? I'm curious, because the more area that is able to regenerate on its own the better off Australia - both human and wild - is going to be. I'm assuming, given the fire-prone nature of the landscape, that at least some of the plants and/or their seeds are adapted to periodic burning. The question is really how much of the burned area was exposed to incinerating-able-to-melt-aluminum temperatures vs. something more like a normal burn-over, just more extensive in are than normal.
Most native vegetation is pretty well adapted to fire, indeed a notable percentage actually requires fire to properly regenerate either from seed pods or other methods (this became notable the hard way in the past when better fire prevention practices led to declining populations of some species though that's now usually covered well enough by planned burning in relevant areas).

The current (and recent past, 20 years or so) bushfires being more intensive (both in total destruction and heat effects), closer proximity in time (in subsequent seasons and sometimes burning through the same locality in a single season) combined with the effects of dryness from drought have led to far more devastation than previously. I'd say we're a long way from sterilisation (Australian native species are just too well adapted to poor soil and fire) BUT it is leading to big changes in localised species variation. Some plant species are being wiped out in some localised areas as they cannot survive the fire intensity which leads to a different species make up post fire.

As an aside, in my state Tasmania (the little triangular one way down south that everyone forgets exists even though it has it's own Warner Bros character :roll: ) we have quite a few species that are NOT fire regenerative nor are they even fire hardened (a lot to do with our wet rainforest environment) and recent fires down here have been extremely devastating to some ancient slow growing species.
Broomstick wrote:
2020-01-11 05:12am
Any thoughts towards re-foresting/human assistance in re-establishing ground cover or is that a ridiculous question? Keep in mind, I'm not expert in either Australia or wildfires so that may well be a wild notion born of ignorance of the total situation and a desire to here that something positive can be done.
Probably as above, there's so much that is fire regenerative and/or post-fire-landscape adapted that, provided the region isn't de-facto sterilised then something will regrow. The human element will be needed to ensure that the same flora mix comes back (notwithstanding all the endangered species in the path of the fires :cough: wollemi pine :cough:
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Re: Eastern Australia is on Fire

Post by mr friendly guy » 2020-01-19 01:23am

Journalist Peter Haden aka potholer54 takes on the climate change deniers spreading the claim its arsonist or greenies causing the fire

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Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, USA.
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