Blue Mountains fires: ABC plugs climate change angle

"Oh Greg, there's a fire burning inside me." "I think you'll find that climate change made it worse…"

“Oh Greg darling, there’s a fire burning inside me.” “Yes, and it’ll get worse thanks to climate change…”

No doubt getting a few hints from her current squeeze, former Labor Climate Change minister Greg Combet, newsreader Juanita Phillips disappointed this particular viewer tonight by stringing up RFS Chief Shane Fitzsimmons like a kipper and leading him down the murky path to politicising the Blue Mountains bush fires.

Phillips used the interview as an opportunity to ask a barrage of questions about the effect of climate change, which Fitzsimmons was completely unqualified to answer. But don’t forget, in ABC land, being qualified to speak on climate only applies to sceptics, though.

The video isn’t up yet (which better demonstrates Phillips’ leading questions), but the story was trailed on the ABC News website:

Climate change is having an impact on every level of fire management, the New South Wales rural fire chief has said on the first anniversary of the Blue Mountains bushfires.

The NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said with more days of high fire danger, there is now a shrinking window of opportunity to carry out back-burning and other hazard reduction.

“If our window of opportunity continues to shrink, in order to get those really important pre-season activities underway then, yes, there’s a broader argument that needs to be had around matters of climate change and its effect on fire management and fire seasons,” he said.

Last year, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that senior UN official Christiana Figueres was “talking through her hat” when she said there was a clear link between climate change and the sort of bushfires seen in NSW.

Despite those comments, Commissioner Fitzsimmons said he was satisfied that climate change was being taken seriously enough at every level of government when it came to its impact on bushfires.

“Oh, absolutely, right across our industry, it is very much factoring into strategy, into resourcing, into policy development,” he said.

“I’m not aware of anyone that is ignoring the fact that climate is having an effect on fire management and the natural disasters landscape as a matter of fact, whether it’s here locally in NSW or at our national agenda.”

Hang on, that’s not the correct answer! You were expected to say something about the ‘denier’ in the Lodge…

Climate is but one tiny factor compared to others such as population growth in bush areas and a long-term failure to allow proper clearing and back burning – thanks to the ‘environmentalists’ who end up doing more harm than good…


  1. I live in the blue mts.When we have early or late snow..lite or heavy snow..its “climate change”..when he have a wet summer or a dry summer..its “climate change”..last year at the same time, we had fire..this year snow…and surprise surprise thats “climate change”..everything is “climate change”…the look of puzzlement when you ask any of the faux environmentalists up here(who all have two cars and are connected to the grid) by exactly what they mean by the term “climate change”…makes you believe the human race has no hope..

    • Nightrider says:

      One day those environmentalist may just wake up and realise that the climate changes all the time. One can only hope so. Only back in the mid 1970’s all the so called experts were shouting loudly an ice age is coming, but it didn’t. Now we have global warming, which after 10 or more (now 18) years on no increase in temperatures, how long will it be before they start shouting out, there is an ice age coming. Also back in the mid 1950’s there were extremely high temps, where my mother had to hang wet sheets around my crib, to stop me from getting heat stroke, why because it was so hot. Infact the hottest summer daytime temp (ever) was recorded in 1953, the summer just prior to my birth on 21/12/54. These are facts that the climate change alarmist DONT want us to know about, and now there is evidence surfacing, that past Australian temperatures have recently been altered down, just to make current temperatures look like they are increasing.

      • Farmer Ted. says:

        Whilever they are being paid to tell us these things they will continue to tell us these things.

  2. Old Ranga says:

    Combet’s desperately trying to help his rent-seeking ACTU mates in the industry super funds and windfarm companies. With the RET subsidies about to go down the gurgler their profitable income is heading south.

  3. Nightrider says:

    I’m sorry to have to point out an error in this above article, you said in the last paragraph “back burning”, it is not called back burning, it’s called hazard reduction, terminology has to be correct when writing a story. Back burning is the action taken when fighter fighters are trying to contain an existing bush fire usually in the fire danger period, hazard reduction occures when fire fighters do burn offs in the cooler months of the year, in late Autume, and through spring, in an attempt to remove the available fuel needed for a bush fire to get started, no or little ground fuel greatly helps reduce or could even stop a bush fire from getting started in the first place. In the Victorian bush fires several years ago, it was reported at the enquiry into those fires, that there was a ground fuel load of something like 5 metric tonnes/ hectare, where anything above 1.5 metric tonnes/ hectare is considered a high amount of ground fuel. Too often I hear this same wrong terminology used, and I just can’t standby and not find it VERY necessary to have this wrong terminology corrected, because this issue surounding what is causing such a sudden increase, and worse the the increasing ferocity of recent bushfires needs to be fully understood. Thankfully there seems to be an ever increasing awareness that hazard reduction is an absolute requirement, if the trend of the seriousness of past bushfires is to be reversed, as there seems to be an extensive increase in hazard reductions occuring in many places across Australia, with regular reports of smoke haze around places like Sydney NSW. Let me point out, the only reason that there is such significant smoke levels, is because of just how large the fuel loads are, if hazard reductions had occurred more frequently in the past, then the current fuel loads at the time of these hazard reductions would have been MUCH LOWER, resulting in a very greatly reduced smoke issue NOW. We will all benifit from the inconvenience now, when the fire season is in full swing, with fewer and less ferocious summer bushfires, WORTH IT.
    I hope this helps clear up any misunderstanding, and let’s hope that the current understanding continues.

  4. luisadownunder says:

    I am so enamoured of Tony Abbott’s straight talk…no garbage, no trying to make everyone feel better or all gooey inside, however, our politicized media, both print and screen, just can’t stand it!
    I am sure the good folk of the Blue Mountains were much happier to have the snow than the fires, but by the media reports you would not think so. Crazy.
    The other thing that is not pointed out is that the fires in the Blue Mountains and for that matter, many bush fires, are deliberately lit.
    The other factor, is that people think they can plant forests right up to their houses and not expect some adverse outcome. The laws that used to govern building in forest and bushland have been evaporated over time, which is to the detriment of the Fire Department,…thus the outcome is devastation.
    As Ozestranger666 (!) points out, many environmentalists live in pristine areas and just love to change that environment to suit themselves..never giving anything back but taking everything they can.

  5. A couple of weeks ago I attended a series of talks at ANU on climate change topics and how we might respond to it. One of the three speakers was a Prof Rob Vertessy who, I think, is a Director of BoM. I had always assumed that BoM was our national weather forecaster but in a 20 min talk the word ‘weather’ was not mentioned once; everything was expressed as ‘climate’, even year on year weather events, notwithstanding that climate has a precise definition of ’30-yrs weather’. If you want to see just how confused this organisation is about its raison d’etre, go to their website and look under the tag ‘Our Services’ where they boast a Program or Department with the name of, wait for it, CLIMATE & PAST WEATHER. How utterly absurd and confusing, and these people are spending hundreds of millions of out tax dollars.

  6. Last week ABC News referred to the snow in the Blue Mountains as a “weather event”. A few days later they were spruiking last years’ bush fires (in a desperate milking) as “climate change”. They have no objectivity or shame. They are full-on greenies, spending our money to promote their “causes”.

  7. Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia says:

    Sorry Janita, no amount of verbal twerking can get us excited about “Climate Change”

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