#AIC

Time we investigated and audited the fire services’ senior personnel

Trust The Guardian to publish a piece from Michael Mann, of hockey stick fame, to dish a sermon on the connection of bushfires with climate change as he prepares his studies in Australia. Perhaps he can cut his trip short by first paying a visit to the Australian Institute of Criminology which will tell him that 85% of bushfires are caused by humans – accidentally, suspiciously or deliberately lit. Watch the media wax lyrical about his pontification.

David Marr has also written a puff piece in The Guardian which has nothing to do with bushfires and everything to heap on a conservative prime minister, Scott Morrison to push the climate narrative. There is a reason he is a regular on the ABC Insiders program.

Marr wrote,

We know the sight by heart: corrugated iron on a low pile of ash with a chimney left standing. Another house gone. And the pattern of bushfires is part of our lives too.”

Anyone with a beating heart feels a sense of sorrow at the destruction of 1,000 homes and the tragic loss of nearly two dozen lives, but some perspective is needed.

The 2009 Black Friday bushfires in Victoria saw 173 deaths and over 2,000 homes destroyed.

The Great East-Japan Disaster of 2011 caused the destruction of 374,000 homes and the deaths of over 16,000 people.

Still none of these statistics will help those who have lost loved ones. We need to focus on what caused the problems in the first place. In Iapan’s case Mother Nature was to blame. In much of these recent bushfires, arsonists are to blame. Don’t let that get in the way of the climate change narrative.

Negligence is a big factor. Does this look like a well maintained fire trail to you? The only way you can tell is by the sign marking it.

But don’t let poor forest management get in the way of a climate change agenda, as Marr does here,

One of the duties of a leader is to find the words in times like these. So many have died. So much has been destroyed. But how can Scott Morrison speak to the experience of the country if he can’t admit we are living through unique times? He says instead: “We have faced these disasters before.”

Yes perhaps they are unique times where Marr can honestly believe that reducing our already minuscule emissions is somehow more important to mitigating bushfires than actually removing the aging fuel loads from the floor. Easier to blame ScoMo.

While we can’t sing the praises of the brave men and women fighting the blazes high enough, we must reflect on the upper management within the fire services for some spectacular own goals.

Take the Gullen Range Wind Farm built around Bannister. Despite local RFS officials raising concerns that the erection of these wind turbines would take Crookwell airstrip out of action for fire fighting duties (because the water bomber aircraft would not be able to get sufficient height to clear them), the head honchos overruled them.

We’ve mentioned in earlier posts that the Boeing 737 water bomber is a white elephant because it can only operate out of 4 airstrips, limiting its usefulness outside of political happy snaps to say we have one. Were it perfect for the job, one imagines the extent of the fires would have been less.

So in order to defeat the side effects of supposed climate change, advice from climate alarmists led to the construction of barriers to prevent mitigating them.

The saddest part from the bushfire disaster is that fingers will be pointed incessantly at climate change being the largest factor when human negligence of another kind is actually the problem, including those people entrusted to prevent them in the first place. Not the actual fire fighters but the senior management.

Blaming everything on climate change is the biggest cop out.

FNF Media recommends the key fire service senior management be audited for their actions, practices and communications in the years leading up to this. So much was preventable. There should be no sacred cows. In the aftermath of the disaster, we can take our time to work out the best way to prevent such fires occurring down the line instead of expediting tax payer dollars to buy equipment that might be unfit for purpose.

In order to be called a think tank, critical thinking would help

The problem with think tanks nowadays is that many are giving the rest a bad name. It would seem that not enough are actually doing the thing they are supposed to be doing – critical thinking.

It was only yesterday that the World Economic Forum’s 2020 report on gender justified a superior “health & survivability” gender gap score to Syrian women even though they live on average 15 years less than Australian women. Why? Because the WEF put more emphasis on the age gap between the sexes rather than longevity, poor Syrian males whose average life expectancies struggle to make 52-yo get back-handed applause for doing their bit for gender equality.

Closer to home, the think tank, The Australia Institute (TAI), has proposed the idea of a $1/ton carbon tax on fossil fuel companies to put into an independently administered climate disaster fund.

As ever with left-wing think tanks, taxation is the only viable cure to all ills. On page 37, TAI doesn’t miss the chance to write a few lines about our poor Pacific neighbours at risk of being inundating by rising sea levels despite a study showing 88.6% of Pacific islands and atolls being stable or growing in size. Who needs evidence when we want a narrative?

Don’t forget the one important takeaway. TAI was named as one of the four supposed “experts” prepared to put its name in a Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) report which scored Australia dead last on international and domestic climate policy. Remember this was the mob that handed Australia a 0.0 (zero point zero) score.

Only foaming at the mouth alarmists could derive such a ridiculous total and only a research body with little interest in objectivity would allow it to be included. If you are hunting for credibility, you won’t find it in the CCPI report.

Therefore if this is the standard at the TAI, why should we pay the slightest attention to them in terms of policy options to mitigate disasters?

TAI wrote in the heavily media, BoM & Deloitte sourced National Climate Disaster Fund report,

It is now clear that global warming increases both the frequency and intensity of many types of natural disasters including floods, bushfires, droughts and other extreme weather events. This is borne out by the science and experienced in unprecedented extreme events in Australia and globally.

Then why did the UNIPCC, the carbon cathedral of climate alarmism, state in its March 2018 report on weather extremes the following with respect to anthropogenic induced global warming?

“…There is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale phenomena such as tornadoes and hail because of data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systemsin 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 floodslow 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 monsoonslow 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.”

Low confidence” is mentioned 230 times in the above report. “High confidence” gets talked about 169 times. “Cold” is mentioned 82x. “Hot” 44x. “Cold extreme” 11x and “Hot extreme” 8x. Is this a coincidence?

Backed by such “low confidence”, why would we lend time to TAI to give us solutions which only raise taxes on fossil fuel industries? Why hasn’t TAI consulted with the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) to learn that 85% of Aussie bushfires are either deliberately, suspiciously or accidentally lit? Why not consult the WA Government’s Bushfire Front site which debunks the myth of climate change causing megafires?

Never mind such trivialities, TAI quotes the head of the Australian Defence Force, General Angus Campbell, who noted that Australia is in “the most natural disaster-prone region in the world” and thatclimate change is predicted to make disasters more extreme and more common.Since when did Australian military personnel become climate experts? Given our Navy uses pink nail varnish to promote recruitment is it any wonder he makes such activist statements?

For FNF Media, who does not profess to be a climate scientist, there is no escaping the list of activists straying out of their lane to push their non-existent credentials on the environment.

Take the Australian Medical Association (AMA). How is it that the AMA is being regarded as an expert on climate change? Does getting a degree in medicine bestow one insights on the impacts of hurricane or drought activity?

The Doctors for Environment Australia have jumped on the activist bandwagon too saying, “three medical colleges, the RACP, ACEM and ACRRM representing tens of thousands of doctors recently declared climate change a health emergency.

Yet do the AMA, RACP, ACEM or ACRRM speak for the each and everyone of their members? The stats say otherwise. In 1962, more than 95% of doctors belonged to the AMA. By 1987 it was 50%. AHPRA reports that in 2016 there were 107,179 registered medical practitioners. The 2016 AMA annual report notes a membership of 29,425. That is 27% of doctors. Shouldn’t the AMA board raise the alarm and focus on the hollowing of its base?

Or should we just follow the money? The non-warmist RACGP has more than doubled its revenues since 2012, while AMA has trickled up 10%. Not surprising AMA revenues have stalled when it has sought to get medical students, which now represent over 1/3rd of members to sign up for free in order to pad the numbers in the hope they’ll join the save the planet cabal.

Even the financial sector is blowing the alarmist trumpet. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) stated earlier this year, “there is no excuse for inaction on climate change, warning there is a high degree of certainty that financial risks will materialize as a result of a warming climate.”

Why isn’t anyone asking what APRA is doing by shaming companies that do not meet voluntary climate risk disclosure targets which are set out by the Task Force in Climate-related Financial Disclosures, a private sector body chaired by none other than global warming alarmist Michael Bloomberg? Where is the independent thought? Talk about taking one’s eyes off the ball.

Our own central bank is burning witches too. In a speech given by the Deputy Governor, the RBA is basing its assertions on the prophecies of the IPCC and BOM, two of countless organisations which have been caught red handed manipulating climate data. Why doesn’t data malfeasance constitute a red flag in the RBA’s internal analysis? Do they apply the same rigour to interest rate policy?

Or our mega banks that refuse to lend money to the Adani project, not based on any valid financial risk assessment but ideological moral preening. Shouldn’t shareholders be concerned that banks are making such irrational investment policy when they need to offset the alarming imbalance in their mortgage loan books? Never mind.

Or the revelation that a band of 29 former fire chiefs, who are proclaiming global warming expertise, are backed by the even more alarmist Climate Council, who we called out on their own “colossal bullshit.” Yes, the Climate Council’s Chief Councillor is none other than Tim Flannery, a man with an absolutely terrible record of dud predictions about our climate.

FNF Media couldn’t hold a flame to these gentlemen in understanding fire behaviour and how to extinguish them, but feels justified questioning the extent of their expertise in climate science.

Because therein lies the problem. The list of supposed experts keeps growing. Yet the ever compliant media falls into line and joins the cheerleading squad. Throw a Cate Blanchett into the mix and get celebrities to espouse their superior intellect to the rest of us.

Perhaps we might ask our click bait journalists whether they consult their bank manager for climate change wisdom anymore than they do the Bob Jane T-Mart tyre fitter for relationship advice?

There is a sad truth that more and more think tank tomes are succumbing to ideological clickbait group think rather than pushing rigid processes to come up with meaningful outcomes. TAI just adds to the growing list of those reverse engineering a narrative. Perhaps the TAI carbon tax solution should also include the manufacture of the raw materials that go to making solar cells, wind towers and battery backups (all derived in part from fossil fuels).

Oh and yes, there is no doubt Syrian men and women would trade a trimming of the health and survivability gender gap to add 15-20 years to their lives.

A link between bushfires and climate change?

CM, like everyone else, hopes the loss of life and damage is kept to a minimum by these bushfires. Sad that politicians leverage tragedy to push narratives that aren’t remotely close to the truth.

It doesn’t take too much time or effort to work out what causes fires. Greens Senator DiNatale only needed to refer to the Australian Institute for Criminology (AIC) which noted over a 5 year study period that half of all bushfires were deemed suspicious or deliberately lit. Another 35% were accidentally lit. So 85% were down to human factors, not climate. The statistics were based on data comprising on average 54,000 bush fires per annum.

The US Department of the Interior (DOI) noted that 90% of wildland fires are caused by humans, 49% of that being deliberate.  So there is consistency in bushfire data across nations.

The Rural Fire Service publishes its data on burn-offs. This is a fundamental part of containment. They update the status of bushfires here.

RFS.png

Unfortunately to The Greens, everything is linked to a climate emergency.

If DiNatale was truly compassionate about those suffering losses from these fires, perhaps he might just stick to reality and spend 10 minutes surfing the WA Government’s Bushfire Front (BFF) site which clearly states,

“Large wildfires are inevitable”

This statement is, to put it politely, bosh. Large wildfires can only occur when there is a combination, at the same time, of three things:

  1. an ignition source,

  2. severe fire weather and,

  3. a large contiguous accumulation of fuel. Remove any of these three and you cannot have a large wildfire (= megafire).

We obviously can’t control the weather, nor can we hope to eliminate all possible avenues of ignition. The only factor we can control is the large contiguous accumulations of fuel. Therefore, broadscale fuel reduction burning is the only defence we have against large wildfires. This will not prevent fires occurring, but it will ensure fires are less intense, are easier and safer to control and will do less damage.

Does it work? Yes it does, as has been shown many times, over many years, by the experience of Western Australian forest managers. The “proof of the pudding” is the incidence of large wildfires in Western Australian forests over the last 50 years. There were a number of very large fires in Western Australian forests from 1900 to 1960, but after the 1961 Dwellingup fire disaster, the wide-scale fuel reduction program carried out by the then Forests Department, ensured that the fuel accumulation was well controlled. The graph below demonstrates this very clearly. It was only after the burning program gradually fell away following a diversion of resources away from forest areas, that the area of wildfires began to climb again after about 1990.

As we know the Greens are not great fans of back burning.

“Prescribed burning causes untold ecological damage”

This is a common argument among academics and green activists, but in fact is just a speculation that fits their ideological stance. It is futile to call, as they do, for complete knowledge of every little impact of fire on every component of the biota.

There is also a section on how the aborigines managed fires. Presumably, skills learnt before settlers came…

Across the whole of Australia, the early settlers and explorers commented in letters and reports that the land looked like a park, with extensive open forests and woodlands, with grassy patches often seemingly arranged in a planned fashion. They also described how they observed aborigines frequently burning patches of bush and were impressed by their skill in handling fire to confine a burn to a set area.

Plenty of video evidence for DiNatale to access here.

Or there is a section written just for him on bushfires and climate change. Some pull quotes,

“Compared to slope, wind strength, fuel quantity and dryness, temperature is an insignificant driver of fire behaviour. Experienced firefighters do not fear a 40-degree day per se. This is because even on a hot day, a fire in one or two-year old fuel can be controlled; on the same day a fire in 20-year old fuels with high winds would usually be unstoppable.

“Carbon dioxide emitted in smoke from a mild-intensity burn is rapidly recaptured through photosynthesis by regenerating understorey plants and by increased tree growth so that the situation is carbon-neutral within 2-4 years of a burn. After this there is positive accumulation of CO2 in plants.”

The BFF supports a fire management system built upon mitigation and resilience. Relying on increased suppression forces and technology is not the answer. Fires in heavy, dry fuels in eucalypt forest on a windy day cannot be controlled, regardless of the fire-fighting resources and technology available.”

With respect to ignition sources, the AIC notes, “most arsonists are white male, mid-20s, patchy employment record, often above average intelligence, but poor academic achievement and poor social development skills…56% of convicted structural arsonists and 37% of bushfire arsonists in NSW had a prior conviction for a previous offence.

Perhaps we should look to the real causes instead of making assumptions based on narratives rather than facts.