Interesting stuff

Blowin's picture
Blowin started the topic in Friday, 21 Jun 2019 at 8:01am

Talking points worthy of further discussion without devolving into insult.

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 2:05pm

Good luck NSW crew.

I asked Mum if it was ever really dry (she grew up coastal cane farm, Sunny Coast) - after FR mentioned Byron hinterland never gets this dry. She said yes, there was a time of no water, the kids were sent to Grampa's house on the farm, they survived on 4 water tanks off the roof then bore water and she probably still has the minerals in her blood! My guess is that's about 1952.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 2:09pm

Blatant straw man from the highest ranked contributor to the SMH.

This is the undisguised face and agenda of the MSM supported Big Australia.

https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/is-the-world-entering-the-age-of-for...

Peter Hartcher ....how embarrassing that you’d post such a puerile argument : “ If we reduced immigration to sustainable levels it’s a racist return to the White Australia Policy.”

Fuck off , Pete. Sort your shit out.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 2:20pm

Very intellectually dishonest argument from Hartcher.

Conflating calls for a more sane and sustainable immigration program with White Australia is pretty fucking piss weak stuff.

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 2:23pm

Don't worry, momentum is with us 3rd party protest voters and we are going to damage them.

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 2:26pm

Did we expect anything less?
We know that the SMH and The Age depend upon the real estate market.

Thankfully the comments after the article are pretty blunt.

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 2:48pm

"The Political Parties and the Media Have Abandoned the Working "Middle Class"

https://www.oftwominds.com/blogoct19/working-class-abandoned10-19.html

reposted for emphasis

Westofthelake's picture
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Westofthelake commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 2:51pm

Port Macquarie contrast.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 2:57pm

That’s unbelievable, Westy.

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 3:02pm

VJ, this discussion has been going on for nearly 30 years and still it's getting ignored.

The highly respected Michael Pusey started broadly exploring the issue in 1991 with Economic Rationalism in Canberra, and then wrote specifically about the gutting of the middle class in 2003 with The Experience of Middle Australia - The Dark Side of Economic Reform.

According to Noam Chomsky, the latter book "should become a central component of public debate on the radical reconstruction of Australian society that has been imposed on the basis of principles that are far from self-justifying."

And again, what does the deafening silence say about the state of our media and our political parties?

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 3:01pm

Good find , VJ

Never read that before

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 3:02pm

Fucking hell Westie.

How high are those flames??

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 3:16pm

I can't believe what's going on down there.

Stay safe people.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 3:18pm

really bad fire at New Italy between Ballina and Yamba.

those words " too late to leave" now put a chill down my spine.

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 3:38pm

Lots of places scattered through the bush out there.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 3:44pm

Check the humidity, or lack of, from the Hunter to the Illawarra.

Mangrove Mountain 4%
Scone 4%
Lucas Heights 4%

That's as low as it ever gets.

http://www.bom.gov.au/nsw/observations/nswall.shtml?ref=hdr

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 3:46pm

Crazy

braudulio's picture
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braudulio commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 3:50pm

Humidity at Moruya Airport went from 7 to ~70 pre and post Southerly.

Hopefully that carries on propagating up the coast

‘IF YOU UNDERSTAND, things are just as they are;
if you do not understand, THINGS ARE JUST AS THEY ARE.’

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 4:01pm

@Craig based on historical recorded temps or re written historical temps?
(Just in the last six years temps have been cough cough...adjusted twice)

That goes back how long?

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 3:59pm

From the Hartcher article:

“ "The tacit agreement between among our political class to support high immigration levels is presently untouchable," he writes, "but the forces that have held this compact in place are weakening, and the issue is ripe for political exploitation.”

What does it say about Australian democracy when the Australian people never had a say in this single most influential issue in modern Australian history ?

Strange that the ALP/LNP never thought to seek a mandate for this “tacit agreement “. I wonder why they didn’t ?

Because we would have told them to wake up to themselves, of course. And people like a Hartcher still manage to maintain a straight face when they’re stating that they can’t understand why situations like Trump / Brexit arise. Australian Brexit moment coming soon .....

PS The dismantling of their compact can’t come soon enough.

shoredump's picture
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shoredump commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 4:05pm

I’ve got a lot of family in that location Westy

Westofthelake's picture
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Westofthelake commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 4:28pm

Hope they stay safe Shorey.

Distracted's picture
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Distracted commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 4:41pm

that confluence of the nor’easter sea breeze and the hot north westerly is so localised sometimes, seems to follow the highway down the coast.
Wind is still blowing east at Kempsey, yet the bushfires are bearing right down on it from the west same as Macksville, Wauchope etc. if the westerly can push over the highway it won’t just be the poor people upriver that are being burnt, it will come right to the coast.

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GuySmiley commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 6:46pm

The good ole chestnut about trumped up records gets yet another good ole airing .... raw hide

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 7:04pm

Interesting, Distracted.

Cheers.

uncle_leroy's picture
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uncle_leroy commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 7:56pm

Hopefully the southerly change comes in under forecast, it's gunna be a busy night for crews coming up and hope everyone goes home to their loved ones come morning.

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 8:00pm

Change hit Manly about 40mins ago, and with strength.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 8:10pm

"The good ole chestnut about trumped up records gets yet another good ole airing .... raw hide"

Facts are facts, move the goal post and results change.

The irony is the Greens blaming fires on climate change is it's highly likely they are part of the reason why back burning is so much harder to get done these days.

Even indigenous Australians knew how important this was.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 8:17pm

6pm - 32° 9% humidity

7pm - 17° 79% humidity

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 8:35pm

The southerly change, love the motion in the last shot!

 

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 at 9:11pm

Wow Westy, that was a scary comparison pic. Also liked the Southerly coming in, hope it dampens the fires, you found a good clifftop perch Craig.

I focus's picture
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I focus commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 12:37am

ID argue with this bloke and tell him he is a greenie.......

"“These are very tired and very old conspiracy theories that get a run after most major fires,” says Prof Ross Bradstock, the director of the centre for environmental risk management of bushfires at the University of Wollongong, who has been researching bushfires for 40 years.

“They’ve been extensively dealt with in many inquiries.”"

Then there is this bloke

"A former NSW fire and rescue commissioner, Greg Mullins, has written this week that the hotter and drier conditions, and the higher fire danger ratings, were preventing agencies from carrying out prescribed burning.

He said: “Blaming ‘greenies’ for stopping these important measures is a familiar, populist, but basically untrue claim.”"

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/12/is-there-really-a...

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 7:01am

One of the problems of the hotter, drier climate is it's becoming hard to find safe windows to do cool season hazard reduction burns.
A winter burn (by National Parks) on Bribie Island got out of control due to dry and heat in the national park and there were dead and dying kangaroos all over the beach.

Can we really burn our way out of this problem?

We going to burn all the rainforest and wet sclerophyll every year?
All the paperbark swamps and coastal heath, all the peat country?

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 7:32am

Why not ? Surely they were burnt repeatedly by the blackfellas ?

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 7:43am

Fact is its harder and harder to remove any vegetation on private land, it's often quite hard to get permits to allow people to back burn etc.

The hurdles are there as a result of Green pressure.

Fires need fuel the more fuel the worst the fire.

There is a lot more truth in that than blaming climate change(or the theory of man made climate change), devastating fires are in no way a recent thing anyone who went through events like Ash Wednesday in the 80s almost 40 years ago can tell you that, anyone who was around in the 20,30,40, 50, 60, 70s etc can tell you that.

Everything comes in cycles, sadly for you guys up north you are in a drought period increasing risk, for us down here in coastal vic, its been wet our local dam is at 95% capacity, 10-15 years ago even this time of year our dam almost ran out of water and everything was dry.

Few years time, it will all shift again and somewhere else will be at risk and be big fires and we will hear the same calls of climate change is the reason for fires BS

End of the day, i guess people should just stop trying to put blame somewhere.

yorkessurfer's picture
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yorkessurfer commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 7:40am

When I worked for the National Parks 10yrs ago one of our tasks was to carry out hazard reduction burns in spring before the warm dry weather of summer hit.

Despite the training it was a stressful and scary job with huge implications if something got out of hand.

One day a burn got away from us and crossed the highway into the coastal scrub outside of the park. The local volunteer CFS guys had to come down and help control it and we got heaps of shit from them and the town folk rightly concerned for their properties.

But if we didn’t do these burns who knows what might have happened over the summer months? We felt dammed I’d we do them and dammed if we don’t?

Is it any wonder in this risk averse age we live in that the powers that be might prefer to ‘leave it in gods hands’ as our PM seems to prefer then risk being blamed if something goes wrong?

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 7:50am

"The hurdles are there as a result of Green pressure."

Is that what you heard on Sky News or did you read it yourself?

The Greens have been fighting wanton land clearing - not bushfire regeneration - and this is now being used for political gain by the right.

But of course it's only the left that's disgracing themselves by playing politics with people's lives etc etc

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 7:54am

Okay so why is it so hard to do anything on your own land without hurdles to jump, sometimes it's not even possible for someone to cut down a tree on their own land.

Who is responsible?

Green pressure (not greens party

What do you want to label it?

I hate the word greenies so im not using that.

Distracted's picture
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Distracted commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 7:57am

The other burn off issue is litigation. If a burn off in state forest or Park goes wrong and the fires goes next door, burns down a shed or house, and they can be shown to be negligent then they end up in court. That means they are very hesitant to do a burn unless conditions are perfect and they are fully resourced.
The scale and severity of these fires across the eastern seaboard shows though it is not to do with lack of burn offs, it’s climate driven. Don’t know how that is going to be managed long term. The vegetation will probably evolve to more fire tolerant species that burns just as fast but regrows quicker, unlike the rainforest and Antarctic beech forests.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 8:02am

"Okay so why is it so hard to do anything on your own land without hurdles to jump, sometimes it's not even possible for someone to cut down a tree on their own land."

Because "your" land may also have koala colonies on it, migratory bird colonies, it may be a RAMSAR wetland, the water that falls on it may also be needed downstream, and on and on.

If you clear the land, horde the water, what do you think happens to the wider environment?

Read this for a wake up call: 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-09/trees-tumble-as-developer-tries-to-reactivate-council-approval/11396396

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 8:06am

Didn't the blackfellas burn it all?

When white man showed up here in the early 19th century the Big Scrub was the biggest intact sub-tropical rainforest in the world./

So, no. They didn't burn it all.

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 8:14am

It was more a continuous, lower level buring - as documented by Cook, Flinders, all the early explorers of the coast. Not called the 'Bay of Fires' for nothing.

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 8:19am

Also:

"The situation remained completely out of control until a milder southerly change extended across the area during the early to mid afternoon, causing the winds to ease and the humidity to rise. The fires gradually subsided and it was time to count the terrible toll.
In total, 71 people had been killed from the beginning of the outbreak and around 1300 homes were burnt to the ground on 13 January alone. Sixty nine timber mills were engulfed, and 'steel girders and machinery were twisted by heat as if they have been of fine wire'. The fires consumed over 1.4 million ha of forest, and the ash is said to have fallen as far away as New Zealand."

This is p90 from "Australia's Natural Disasters" by Richard Whitaker, chapter is "Black Friday in Victoria" describing the 1939 events.

uncle_leroy's picture
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uncle_leroy commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 8:36am

‘Suspicious’ fires being reported from fire grounds the past 24hrs.
If true, I hope they are caught, wrapped in chook wire and bricks and taken for a long sail out to sea on a one way ticket, that’s after the community throw rocks at them.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 8:40am

I understand what you're trying to do, VJ. But I'd be curious how those historical incidents stack up in terms of timing (these fires are burning incredibly early in the seasson - which was even brought forward this year), and the frequency curve, which I think is where the real story is being told.

Steve said something earlier that was overlooked:

"...it's becoming hard to find safe windows to do cool season hazard reduction burns."

The NSW North Coast has been a tinderbox - apologies, today is cliche day - for the better part of three years, and while it's not as bad down my way, we had very hot days all this winter which is the traditional burn off season.

Used to be the RFS had months to pick and choose, but lately they've had days at best.

So is it part of a cycle, or is it the new normal?

Deserves some serious dogma-free thinking...however, I'm erring towards the latter.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 8:48am

I reckon it’s same same. If you look at the fires around here , they’re in Bush which hasn’t seen a flame in decades and the tree cover is way more extensive than previous. I’m saying this from personal observation of about 15 years and from discussions with many lifetime locals who reckon that tree cover is much thicker and more widespread since a few of the local industries fell over.

The detritus on the ground is very thick . This fire has been a long time coming and it’s not over. The areas which have been spared are on borrowed time .

Free ride - what of this ? I’ve always been led to believe that the blackfellas were onto it with the burning. There is virtually no chance that forest could have built up as it is these days. Every time a fire starts there is a concerted effort to put it out . I don’t see much back burning going on . I’ve tried to organise back burns more than a few times and never been able to get assistance.

https://jennifermarohasy.com/2011/11/how-aborigines-made-australia-bill-...

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 9:02am

It's important to put in place historical datapoints if you have them Stu. It is a common bias to think that 'my life right now, and the experience I have, is unprecedented'. So we know Vic lost 1.4Mn ha in 1939, perhaps NSW now will be a greater loss.

That said, November raises eyebrows. But we can also see the trigger for these fires - the SSW - and the question becomes one of the background conditions.

Is it a new normal? Probably is. It's important to include all data, such as record colds and record early snow seasons in the NHemi over the last few years too. The new normal is 'variability' - extreme compared to earlier in our lives; and it includes great changes such as the amount of CO2 in the air but also the measured decline of solar output (ULYSSES), the decline of the earth's magnetic field, absolutely record crop losses, changes in jetstreams and more meriodonal flows (snow in Sahara and Morocco...), record hail events, the emergence of previously unobserved atmospheric phenomena ("Steve", the reclassification of clouds) the rapidly increasing shift of the magnetic poles, changes in volcanism and frequency of earthquakes, increasing land clearing, increasing human population, changes in windspeed and warming on other planets, even the colour of the sun! It's not that nice yellow mellow colour any more!

If anyone can put all that together in a model, kudos.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 9:24am

Some of the forest Blowin, especially that dry sclerophyll country you're in.

But not the littoral rainforest, nor the Big Scrub.

We going to burn rainforest to keep safe?

well guess what, it dies and doesn't come back.

And the blackfellas knew that, which is why rainforest thrived all over sub-tropical NSW when white man "discovered" these river valleys.
They were full of red cedar, not eucalypts.

Stu, it's not just the last 3 years.

Summer rainfall has been becoming less and less reliable, a point Anthony Cornelius missed in his analysis a few pages back.

We get the onshore winds, but that aren't moisture laden Tradewinds but cool, dry northerlies. This past summer was case in point. Onshore northerlies from end to end and we got about 80mm of rainfall. That's a normal summer downpour that you would get in one day, not a whole summer's worth.

There was a major bushfire here at Lennox Dec29 2013 that burnt through the coastal heath/peat for weeks.
That country went up again in Feb2017, and threatened the town.

Not cool season winter/spring fires as Cornelius suggests, but summer fires.

In normal rainfall years that country is peat swamp. Waterlogged.
It's dry as tinder again now.

One dry lightning strike this summer or some dickhead backpacker with a fire on the beach and it'll go again.

atticus's picture
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atticus commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 9:27am

The littoral rainforests of NSW east coast are proof that Aboriginal fire control was more complex than we currently know. If they burn, they'll never grow back the same way with layered canopies and minimal undergrowth. Here on the Mid North Coast pockets of them sit adjacent to dry Sclerophyll and there's no reason bushfires would spare them unless those fires were controlled. Like farming, there's a lag time to adjust fire management to this country, and we can learn a lot from the blackfellas if we cared to listen and institute changes.

Sometimes it takes events like this to make it happen.

uncle_leroy's picture
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uncle_leroy commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 9:32am

Fire by blackfellas wasn't technically a land management item, it was a form of lazy but very effective hunting method. Why run through the bush for hours/days chasing a feed when you could light a fire and the food comes to you.
It just happened to be that a result of these fires was less fuel load and a mosaic of burnt/regrowth areas which then also encouraged wildlife on the new vegetation.
So they didn't light fires for fun, they lit them for food.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 10:05am

No need to light the rainforest, Freeride . Particularly as they constitute such a small percentage of the area and aren’t really a problem. I’d imagine that a fire would have to already have a bit of momentum for true rainforest to be destroyed.

But that’s an aside anyway , the main reason- in my opinion only - for the fires around here is mostly depth of fuel . Being dry as fuck certainly doesn’t help , but it’s mostly lack of previous burns responsible.