#bushfires

Making hay while the rain falls?

We were surprised to see Dymocks bookstore put former Australian Climate Change Commissioner Tim Flannery’s latest book in the science section.

Amazon’s review notes, “Tim Flannery takes aim at those responsible for the campaign of obfuscation and denial that has already cost so many Australian lives and held back action on climate change.” Really?

Exactly how many lives has climate change claimed in Australia? The Australian Bureau of Statistics record the accumulated deaths from ‘Environmental-pollution-related-condition (Y97)‘ over the last decade at ZERO!!!!  Strange that climate related deaths have plunged over 80% in the last 4 decades. 

Many of Flannery’s climate predictions have also failed to eventuate.

In 2007, Flannery said, “So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems…” Today, Sydney’s main water supply at Warragamba Dam is currently at 97.8% capacity.

In 2015, he claimed that “Sadly we’re more likely to see them [cyclones] more frequently in the future” when referring to a cyclone that hit Vanuatu. Global data shows no such trends. The UNIPCC’s extreme weather report updated in 2018 stated on page 8, “There is low confidence in any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity (i.e., intensity, frequency, duration), after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities.”

We thought the nonsense peddled on the bushfires by The Climate Council, which Flannery chairs, spoke volumes. Our data concluded that one of its authors, who led the former fire chiefs’ crusade to blame the devastating bushfires on climate change, didn’t mention the topic when he ran one of the fire services. That is to say it that the severity of climate change to bushfire activity in these Magnus opera were conspicuous by their absence.

We think the upcoming 2020 annual reports from fire services across Australia will be dripping in climate change related topics which will only end up highlighting how it has become nothing more than a CYA convenient excuse to mask years of poor fire management.  Take this example of the commitment to mitigating the inherent risks of busfires in the 2018/19 FRNSW Annual Report:

“Where practicable, FRNSW crews were encouraged to turn off all non-essential lights on 30 March 2019 from 8:30pm until 9:30pm, joining millions of people worldwide in showing their commitment to tackling climate change and inspiring all generations to support environmental initiatives and sustainable climate policy.”

A study of how fire service budgets were allocated in recent years further highlights the alarming problem behind the bureaucratic mismanagement. 

What has become even less surprising than the lack of science peddled before us surrounding COVID-19 in recent months, is the convenient segue of supposed conventional wisdom – The Great Reset – pointing back to the fantastic opportunity to push the climate change agenda to solve for poverty, racial inequity and all other economic ills. After all, US Treasury Secretary-elect Janet Yellen has assured us her department will take care of it. Who knew?

Apart from climate change having zero correlation to COVID-19, despite Prince Harry ‘s best efforts to conflate the link, Tim Flannery has seen a great opportunity to make a quid off the theme. No harm in making hay while the rain pours. 

Still we question why so many climate alarmists believe that replacing fossil fuels with renewables will solve for saving the planet and put an end to poverty?

We are not sure how that works?

When one of the leading renewables-driven developed nations, Germany, has such high levels of energy poverty, how can this be?  In 2019, 4.75 million households received warnings that their electricity would be shut off (289,000 actually got disconnected), according to the German Federal Networks Agency (Bundesnetzagentur). All this because of a doubling of energy prices (despite studies that predicted a fall at the time of policy conception) which are a direct result of disastrous green energy diktats which started two decades ago.

The flip side is India, a developing nation. Its electricity generation policies,  according to the World Bank, lifted 271 million people out of energy poverty between 2007 and 2017 largely thanks to low priced coal-fired power. So before all the ‘Stop Adani’ climate emergency extinction rebellion crowd start pontificating that we must go carbon neutral, perhaps they might go and survey the 271mn locals as to whether they demand change??

Michael Shellenberger’s latest book, ‘Apocalypse Never‘, takes a realistic view of how to achieve optimal outcomes for the climate, renewables not being part of the equation.

Still, the best way to truly evaluate the seriousness of climate change is by watching the consumption habits of those who peddle it.

We always found it strange that Obama moved to the shores of Martha’s Vineyard last year despite the risk of rising sea levels. Former Aussie PM Kevin Rudd has also bought waterfront property recently despite climate change being the “moral challenge of our times.

Looking at 1,500 private jets clogging airports at a World Economic Forum summit takes some beating too, not to mention the 25,000 pilgrims that fly halfway across the world to attend COP summits and then tell mothers who drop their kids off at soccer practice in a 2nd-hand SUV that they are the problem. No excuses anymore. They can Zoom. 25,000 group thinkers on a screen…their individual relevance in direct proportion to the size of their microscopic avatar.

Can someone point to which department will head climate change policy?

We are getting confused. It seems that a growing number of government agencies are pushing a climate change agenda, an extension of a remit that is well outside its scope of expertise.

Never mind. The US Federal Reserve is the latest group to announce it is throwing its hat in the ring on climate policy. Perhaps the board of governors felt left out that former Fed chair Janet Yellen was promising to stem the climate emergency via the Treasury. Best keep up.

Never mind that 35% of all M1 money supply has been printed in the last 10 months. It would be one thing if the Fed had a track record to boast about. Sadly, it has such poor predictive powers that getting the core business right maybe a more prudent strategy. God help us if inflation ever hits us. Read Jonathan Rochford’s piece on too much cash here.

The problem with central banks is that they continue to use the only tool they possess – a hammer – which would be great if every problem they encountered was actually a nail.

We aren’t alone. The Reserve Bank of Australia has also joined this climate alarmist bandwagon. Even worse the speech based its assertions on the prophecies of the IPCC and BOM, two of many organizations which have been caught red handed manipulating climate data.

Instead of coordinating monetary policy which has fed a housing bubble of almost 1980s Japan levels in terms of price:income with banks 50% more levered to mortgages on average than Japan’s financial institutions were at the point of collapse.

APRA and ASIC have also told us they plan to get stricter on climate change reporting by corporates even though their own data over the last decade shows the opposite. In order to get the results they want, they plan to legislate to enforce it. That should tell us much.

Forgive us for being cynical, but we all know that government agencies must submit their budgets each year. What better way to get a healthy shot in the arm than add a climate change agenda to it in order to squeeze $10s or $100s of millions in extra funding. Forget if the agency has absolutely zero relation to climate change like the DOJ. Just tick that box and then hire a bunch of activists to write puff pieces warning us of the grave dangers of a future crime wave if we don’t stop rising sea levels as opposed to defunding the police.

What an absolute farce. What tends to happen is that extra funding often finds its way to line the pockets of those who work within these agencies, especially at the senior levels. Note what happened to our own fire services in Australia who rarely spoke about climate change but got masses of funding which didn’t go to replenishing equipment but salary increases.

We guess the 2020 annual reports will be ALL about the impacts of climate change when it was hardly ever mentioned over the previous decade when it should have mattered.

Just watch department and agency around the world line up one after another at the climate change teat. That tells all we need to know. A bunch of amateurs doing what they do best – behaving as professional politicians.

It’s for our own good, you know! Shut up already.

Never let a good crisis go to waste even if you have to trespass

Senator Kamala Harris and California Gov Gavin Newsom took the opportunity to do a photo shoot on the property of a family who lost their home to the devastating wildfires.

This is what Trampas Patten, son of the owner, had to say:

For the friends of mine that don’t recognize the fireplace in the background, that is what is left of my parents house! What has me really frustrated right now is the fact that these two politicians used my parents loss for a photo opportunity to push their political agenda! Political party wouldn’t have made a difference in this moment. Decent human beings that have character and class, wouldn’t air someone else’s misfortune on national television! Think about this when you go to the polls in a few weeks to vote. Look at this picture closely, imagine it is what is left of your hard work, hopes, dreams, place of sanctuary. Do you want this kind of leadership, using you and your loss for political gain?! For the record, my parents haven’t even been let back in yet themselves, to sort through what is left of their lives, but these two felt the need to go traipsing around my parents property without permission. I guess those property taxes my parents pay allow politicians to do this! Private property doesn’t exist in California anymore!

His sister Bailee chimed in with:

Dear Governor Newsom you don’t know me but I’m one of your CA citizens. That truck you are standing by is my dads work truck. He has had that thing for as long as I can remember. That land with all the rubble your standing next too, that’s my house I grew up in. You never got my parents permission to go on our property, nor did you ask if we needed help. What you did do is take my families loss and parade it all over social media and news networks to push your agenda. That agenda can wait, right now you should be caring about the families of this state. Thankfully this community is #mountainstrong and we will thrive.

When it is all to push a climate change agenda in media approved Timberland boots, who cares about those affected? Facts don’t matter. Fashion and fashionable causes not supported by the facts do.

Scientific American endorses Biden – first time in 175 years

Wow. Scientific American has endorsed Joe Biden. This is the first time the magazine has backed a presidential candidate in 175 years. We think it may live to regret its move. The magazine has merely exposed the deep partisan bias and confirmed again how much of scientific academia and media leans left. Why?

The editors closed with,

It’s time to move Trump out and elect Biden, who has a record of following the data and being guided by science.”

If we listened to Joe Biden’s ‘Moses and the 10 Commandments’ speech the other day, it was full of unsubstantiated hyperbole about the risks of higher incidences of floods, hurricanes and wildfires if Trump is reelected despite the fact that under the current administration, harmful GHG emissions have fallen by the largest absolute number ever in 2019 according to the IEA.

For a magazine that rests its laurels on “following the data” and “being guided by the science”, perhaps it missed the UNIPCC’s March 2018 report on weather extremes (with respect to anthropogenic induced global warming) which noted:

…There is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale phenomena such as tornadoes and hail because of data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systems…in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, in central North America and northwestern Australia. There is limited to medium evidence available to assess climate-driven observed changes in the magnitude and frequency of floods…low confidence for the attribution of any detectable changes in tropical cyclone activity to anthropogenic influences..low confidence in projections of changes in extreme winds.. low confidence in projections of changes in monsoons…low confidence in wave height projections…overall low confidence because of inconsistent projections of drought changes…low confidence in projected future changes in dust storms…low confidence in projections of an anthropogenic effect on phenomena such as shallow landslides.

Perhaps the editors missed the questionnaire posted by the UN Interacademy Council committee on its website which invited interested parties to respond to the scientific processes at the IPCC during the compilation of the gold standard climate bibles? These were some of the responses;

some of the lead authors…are clearly not qualified to be lead authors.” (p.16)

There are far too many politically correct appointments, so that developing country scientists are appointed who have insufficient scientific competence to do anything useful. This is reasonable if it is regarded as a learning experience, but in my chapter…we had half of the [lead authors] who were not competent.” (p. 138)

The whole process…[is] flawed by an excessive concern for geographical balance. All decisions are political before being scientific.” (p. 554)

half of the authors are there for simply representing different parts of the world.” (p. 296)

Lest anyone think that people from less affluent countries were being unjustly stereotyped,

The team members from the developing countries (including myself) were made to feel welcome and accepted as part of the team. In reality, we were out of our intellectual depth as meaningful contributors to the process.” (p.330)

The founders of Scientific American must be rolling over in their graves. If their scientific rigour is as sound as their endorsement then Trump has even more chances to secure reelection.

This should be seen as a rejection of Trump not an endorsement for Biden.

2 lefty narratives destroyed in one – climate change & 2A

An Oregon lady caught an arsonist in the act and exercised her second amendment rights to hold the individual under citizen’s arrest until the police arrived.

As Bernie Sanders and the left keep banging on about climate change being behind the bushfires, once again, arson is a large factor. Joe Biden gave a speech saying that the US risks being destroyed by fires, floods and hurricanes.

We wrote about the causes of bushfires during Australia’s recent disaster here.

In short, coronavirus has run its scaremongering course so it is now time to rachet up global warming again. We imagine Greta Thunberg will he invited on Zoom to do a town hall with Biden.

California fires vs Australia

As wildfires sweep across California, we were struck by this infographic put up by Cal Fire.

While we will investigate more deeply in coming days, we were struck by several things compared to Australia’s NSW RFS.

The first is fire engines. Cal Fire claims to have 343. NSW RFS has 3,883. Although aerial bombing seems a preferred method in California.

Cal Fire employs 6,100 full time staff. NSWRFS 936.

Cal Fire has 2,600 seasonal staff, 3,500 inmates, wards and conservation members and 600 volunteers. NSWRFS has 71,000 volunteers.

Cal Fire operates on a budget of US$2.1bn. NSWRFS runs on US$405m.

Cal Fire attended 5,750 wildfire incidents while NSWRFS attended 9,675 bushfires in 2018/19.

Cal Fire staged prescribed burn offs of around 19,000 acres in 2017/18. NSWRFS conducted 469,500 acres of burn off in the last recorded year. In NSW’s case, this wasn’t enough.

So before the “climate change” experts start blaming Mother Nature for California’s wildfires, a quick glance at the stats shows that NSWRFS were doing far more with less. Despite that, the Royal Commission has exposed that nowhere near enough forest fuel was being managed which led to the uncontrollable fires experienced late last year. Poor administration is a feature too.

We will endeavor to do a more comprehensive look at the stats to ensure consistency in methodology.

However we implore people to look at a report we wrote discussing climate change by the fire services themselves which goes a long way in proving what we already knew. Poor fuel load management and arson remain the biggest issues.

As ever, we don’t disparage the work of the fire fighters but question the management. In Australia, one volunteer claimed the administration acts like a mafia.

California fires weren’t caused by climate change but…wait for it…

…Gender reveal fireworks.

There is a deep sense of irony when the climate change myth is dispelled (as written before) as the cause of devastating wildfires that some other form of woke activity ends up being behind it.

The San Bernardino Fire Department issued a press release confirming that gender reveal fireworks had been behind the wildfires which have caused 3,000 residents to evacuate their homes.

State of recurring Disasters

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has made a very strong case for rejecting identity politics in all of its forms.

It has now come to light that he and his team prioritized social inclusion over ability when selecting the private security firms to manage hotel quarantine during coronavirus. This is widely regarded as the source of the second outbreak. Guards with no training who ended up in some cases fornicating with guests under their watch. You can’t make this stuff up.

This is the same individual who refused to censure his Deputy Chief Health Officer Annaliese van Diemen for tweeting,

Sudden arrival of an invader from another land, decimating populations, creating terror…Forces the population to make enormous sacrifices & completely change how they live in order to survive. COVID19 or Cook 1770?

How is it possible that social justice took a front seat to a pandemic? Surely ALL Victorians would gladly trade identity politics for sound health policy prescriptions which didn’t lock them up for another 6 weeks.

Andrews was only too happy to have his police force fine people playing golf or fishing but didn’t prosecute a single person for attending a BLM rally which by itself must have also led to a spike in cases.

Here are some more pearls of wisdom we’ve noted over the years.

Years ago, the Victorian premier championed that he had 200,000 likes on FB, twice as many as Mike Baird in New South Wales. He also made the completely worthless boast that “Mike Baird gets no ‘Likes’ after 10pm“. Is that a true test of leadership? That only 3% of Victorians like him?

We recall Andrews pushing the Victorian Police to host segregated seminars for potential new recruits in order to accommodate their religious beliefs.

In October last year he said misogynist slogans on vehicles would lead to an automatic cancelation of registration. Presumably misandrist slogans were ok.

We noted the shocking state of affairs with the unionization of the Victorian CFA and its dreadful administration. Huge uptick in salaries, staffing and administration costs with a decline in equipment procurement.

Or the rorts for votes scandal.

Or joining China’s BRI without consulting the federal government on national security grounds.

We could go on.

The ability to steer through a crisis is the true test of any leader. All of Andrews’ flawed thinking might be nice to haves in the moral preening stakes. Sadly coronavirus has exposed them as utterly meaningless and outright dangerous. Putting forward ridiculous parameters for hiring put Victorian lives in more danger.

How he hasn’t resigned is beyond us. Despite being the most disastrous premier in Australian history, Andrews continues to get comforting support from mainstream and social media. Maybe he believes their propaganda that he is doing a decent job. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What happened when Baltimore went soft on crime

Arrests chg

In April 2015, a black man by the name of Freddie Gray died from injuries sustained in a police van. His death sparked outrage and riots in Baltimore. The 6 officers (3 black, 3 white) who faced trial for his death were either acquitted or had the charges dropped.

According to Larry Elder, despite claims that the city was suffering from systemic racism at the time of his death, the mayor of Baltimore City was black, the AG was black, the police chief was black, his deputy was black, the majority of the command centre was black and the city council members were predominantly black and all Democrat. We shouldn’t forget that the US president was also black.

As a result of the riots that followed Gray’s death, the Baltimore City Police Department (BCPD) went soft on crime. Police actions fell off a cliff. Arrests had been declining for years but decelerated even quicker post-2015.

From 2014 to 2017, dispatch records show the number of field interviews fell 70%. Suspected narcotics offences reported by police fell 30%. The number of people BCPD reported seeing with outstanding warrants dropped by half.  The acting police commissioner admitted, “In all candour, officers are not as aggressive as they once were, pre-2015. It’s just that fact.

Rape surged.

Rapes

Homicides exploded. In 2017, Baltimore hit its highest per-capita murder rate ever. It was double Chicago’s rate and in absolute numbers higher than New York, a city 14 times as populous.

Homicides

An informal survey of 15% of BCPD officers taken by the council showed that officers were afraid to make arrests in the aftermath. A third of those surveyed had served in BCPD for over 20 years.

40% said they felt “inadequately trained

43% said they do not feel “comfortable making self-initiated arrests

68% said they do not feel “city leadership supports law enforcement.”

74% said they “feel restricted by the consent decree,”

78% said they felt the department had “lowered hiring standards.

One officer responded, “Morale won’t rise until the Department and its officers receive consistent public support from the Mayor, City Council and State’s Attorney. No one is asking that corruption be tolerated. What we are asking is that when we investigate crimes and make arrests or issue citations that our elected leaders support us when we encounter resistance.

Another mentioned, “We don’t have enough people in my unit. The volume of cases we have is absurd given our manpower. It leads to mistakes, and inadequate follow up investigations which lead to sloppy prosecutions. None of which is for lack of trying.

A shortage of funds? The budget for the BCPD has grown from $455 million in FY2015 to $536 million for FY2020, begging the question of why arrests and prosecution of crime haven’t matched the increased spending?

When analysing the breakdown of the BCPD budget, composition matters. Police patrolling will decline from $253 million in 2015 to $202 million in the 2020 budget. The number of police allocated to patrol will fall from 1,851 to 1,363 during the same period. Administration expenses will jump from $44 million to $94 million. Crime investigation will rise from $52 million to $53 million off from the low of $35 million in 2019.

Just as we saw with our study on fire services around Australia at the time of the bushfires, more money doesn’t always lead to better outcomes if those custodians don’t have the skills to sensibly allocate those extra dollars.

Like many government bureaus or departments, it doesn’t appear to be a question of just throwing more money at policing but far better stewardship of funds, a more defined focus of mission and a council that supports law enforcement by cutting red tape which leads to the types of outcomes that benefit the community at large.

Woke policing doesn’t work. Baltimore is proof.

What happened when Baltimore went soft on crime

Arrests chg

In April 2015, a black man by the name of Freddie Gray died from injuries sustained in a police van. His death sparked outrage and riots in Baltimore. The 6 officers (3 black, 3 white) who faced trial for his death were either acquitted or had the charges dropped.

According to Larry Elder, despite claims that the city was suffering from systemic racism at the time of his death, the mayor of Baltimore City was black, the AG was black, the police chief was black, his deputy was black, the majority of the command centre was black and the city council members were predominantly black and all Democrat. We shouldn’t forget that the US president was also black.

As a result of the riots that followed Gray’s death, the Baltimore City Police Department (BCPD) went soft on crime. Police actions fell off a cliff. Arrests had been declining for years but decelerated even quicker post-2015.

From 2014 to 2017, dispatch records show the number of field interviews fell 70%. Suspected narcotics offences reported by police fell 30%. The number of people BCPD reported seeing with outstanding warrants dropped by half.  The acting police commissioner admitted, “In all candour, officers are not as aggressive as they once were, pre-2015. It’s just that fact.

Rape surged.

Rapes

Homicides exploded. In 2017, Baltimore hit its highest per-capita murder rate ever. It was double Chicago’s rate and in absolute numbers higher than New York, a city 14 times as populous.

Homicides

An informal survey of 15% of BCPD officers taken by the council showed that officers were afraid to make arrests in the aftermath. A third of those surveyed had served in BCPD for over 20 years.

40% said they felt “inadequately trained

43% said they do not feel “comfortable making self-initiated arrests

68% said they do not feel “city leadership supports law enforcement.”

74% said they “feel restricted by the consent decree,”

78% said they felt the department had “lowered hiring standards.

One officer responded, “Morale won’t rise until the Department and its officers receive consistent public support from the Mayor, City Council and State’s Attorney. No one is asking that corruption be tolerated. What we are asking is that when we investigate crimes and make arrests or issue citations that our elected leaders support us when we encounter resistance.

Another mentioned, “We don’t have enough people in my unit. The volume of cases we have is absurd given our manpower. It leads to mistakes, and inadequate follow up investigations which lead to sloppy prosecutions. None of which is for lack of trying.

A shortage of funds? The budget for the BCPD has grown from $455 million in FY2015 to $536 million for FY2020, begging the question of why arrests and prosecution of crime haven’t matched the increased spending?

When analysing the breakdown of the BCPD budget, composition matters. Police patrolling will decline from $253 million in 2015 to $202 million in the 2020 budget. The number of police allocated to patrol will fall from 1,851 to 1,363 during the same period. Administration expenses will jump from $44 million to $94 million. Crime investigation will rise from $52 million to $53 million off from the low of $35 million in 2019.

Just as we saw with our study on fire services around Australia at the time of the bushfires, more money doesn’t always lead to better outcomes if those custodians don’t have the skills to sensibly allocate those extra dollars.

Like many government bureaus or departments, it doesn’t appear to be a question of just throwing more money at policing but far better stewardship of funds, a more defined focus of mission and a council that supports law enforcement by cutting red tape which leads to the types of outcomes that benefit the community at large.

Woke policing doesn’t work. Baltimore is proof.