Bush fires not a result of climate change

Natural processes?

Natural processes?

Some common sense from the normally moonbat state of California, in an analysis that would apply equally well in Australia:

For purposes of analysis, the history of wildfire in California can be loosely categorized into pre-European settlement fire regimes and post-European settlement fire regimes, especially the last fifty years where rigorous fire suppression efforts have been undertaken.

Natural fire regimes that existed prior to European settlement in California (pre-1700) involved a wide range of fire frequencies and effects on ecosystems; roughly one-third of the State supported frequent fire regimes of 35 years or less. Some areas likely burned on an almost annual basis. Pre-European settlement fire patterns resulted in many millions of acres burning each year, with fire acting as a major ecological force maintaining ecosystem vigor and ranges in habitat conditions. The pre-settlement period is often viewed as the period under which the “natural” fire regime standard for assessing the ecological role of fire developed.

In the suppression (modern) era, statewide fire frequency is much lower than before the period of European settlement. Between 1950 and 2008, California averaged 320,000 acres burned annually, only a fraction of the several millions of acres that burned under the pre-settlement regimes. Land uses such as agriculture and urbanization have reduced the amount of burnable landscape, and most wildland fires are effectively suppressed to protect resources, commodities, and people.

Before the twentieth century, many forests within California were generally open and park like due to the thinning effects of recurrent fire. Decades of fire suppression and other forest management have left a legacy of increased fuel loads and ecosystems dense with an understory of shade-tolerant, late-succession plant species. The widespread level of dangerous fuel conditions is a result of highly productive vegetative systems accumulating fuels and/or reductions in fire frequency from fire suppression. In the absence of fire, these plant communities accrue biomass, and alter the arrangement of it in ways that significantly increase fuel availability and expected fire intensity. (link – PDF)

Paul Homewood (h/t) summarises thus:

  • Large and frequent wildfires were the norm before European settlement.
  • Regular wildfires provide an essential ecological function and increase forest health and diversity.
  • Acreage burnt reduced drastically during the 20thC, as fire suppression methods took effect.
  • This fire suppression, though, had the calamitous effect of allowing a dangerous build up of biomass, that now makes fires larger and more intense.

Perhaps somebody might tell Obama.

Perhaps somebody might tell Flannery.

Devastating bush fires in Spring 1895, when CO2 was “safe”

Safe bush fires?

Safe bush fires?

In 1895, atmospheric CO2 levels were 290 ppm, well below the 350ppm “safe” levels that we are told we need to return to by the likes of 350.org:

350 parts per million is what many scientists, climate experts, and progressive national governments are now saying is the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere.

Accelerating arctic warming and other early climate impacts have led scientists to conclude that we are already above the safe zone at our current 400ppm, and that unless we are able to rapidly return to below 350 ppm this century, we risk reaching tipping points and irreversible impacts such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and major methane releases from increased permafrost melt.

But even at 290 ppm, extreme weather events still occurred, cyclones still hit, and bush fires still burnt, as this extract from the Colac Herald of September 1895 recounts:

Drought, acompanied by raging gales and devastating bush fires, still afflicts the greater part of the colony. The reports from the country become daily more hopeless in tone, as vegetation gradually succumbs to the want of moisture or the quicker method of fire. A Bulli telegraph states that Sherbrooke township has been partly de stroyed. the holiday resorts in the Blue Mountains, Kurrajong Heights and scores of other places have been destroyed by the ravaging of bush fires.

The IPCC acknowledges that there is no link between recent warming and more frequent or extreme weather events. In fact, there is evidence to point the other way. In the US, it will be 3,142 days since the last Category 3+ hurricane landfall, the longest period on record. Also at that link, accumulated global cyclone energy remains at almost historical lows.

For the Climate Council to use recent bush fires as evidence of the urgent need for action on climate change is misleading, irresponsible and alarmist in the extreme.

(h/t Real Science)

Flannery still pushing alarmist bullshit

Failed fortune teller

Failed fortune teller

At least the Climate Council is not being paid for by the taxpayer, so he can say what he likes.

Mammalogist Failed End-of-the-Pier fortune teller Tim Flannery is up to his old tricks, spouting alarmist claptrap about bush fires:

In October, huge bushfires devastated communities, property and livelihoods in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. Tragically, two lives were lost. As the Climate Council’s first major report makes clear, our changing climate is increasing the chances of similar events in future.

Yes, bushfires are part of the Australian experience, but large and severe bushfires in October are unusual.

There has been considerable discussion in the media around the link between climate change and bushfires. So let’s get the facts straight.

Hot, dry conditions create conditions favourable for bushfires. Australia has just experienced its hottest 12 months ever recorded, and September 2013 was the hottest September on record. (source)

As Jo points out, the reality is far different. Fractions of a degree changes in average temperature have made little if any difference to bush fire frequency or intensity and rainfall hasn’t declined.

So what can it be that is causing such intense fires? Oh yes, I remember. The extreme Greens who have insisted for decades that there should be no back burning, resulting in massive fuel loads just waiting to go up in smoke. That or a few shells exploding on an army range. Or fires being lit by arsonists.

Flannery conveniently ignores all of those. Wonder why?

UN: NSW fires are “paying the price” for carbon



UPDATE: It is pointed out, quite correctly, that a 0.8 degree increase in global temperature isn’t going to make the slightest bit of difference to bushfire frequency or intensity. Any such change would be swamped by the effects of ongoing failures to properly manage bushfire risk and draconian restrictions on clearing imposed by, er, the Greens.

More utter nonsense about the NSW bushfires, this time from the UN’s Christiana Figueres:

The executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, says the fires prove the world is “already paying the price of carbon”.

“The World Meteorological Organisation has not established the direct link between this wildfire and climate change yet, but what is absolutely clear is that the science is telling us there are increasing heatwaves in Asia, Europe and Australia,” she told CNN.

“These [heatwaves] will continue. They will continue in their intensity and in their frequency.” (source)

Steve Goddard shows the idiocy of this kind of claim:

UPDATE 2: A couple of Tweets to La Figueres:

ABC’s one-sided bushfire analysis

Groupthink at your ABC

Groupthink at your ABC

ABC’s 7.30 Report tonight focussed on the effect of “climate change” on bush fires.

So they invite John Connor, alarmist from the Climate Institute, who essentially agreed with Adam Bandt, alarmist from the Greens, who essentially agreed with Don Henry, alarmist from the Australian Conservation Foundation, who essentially agreed with Andy Pitman, alarmist from UNSW, who essentially agreed with Don Henry (again), who essentially agreed with John Connor (again).

The sole dissenting voice, allowed just 45 words out of the entire segment, was Climate Change Minister Greg Hunt, who managed to sneak in this:

“No-one, no-one should be politicising these bushfires and I would say that respectfully to the gentleman in question.”

Quickly rebutted of course. No sign of anybody to question the four alarmists, whose assertions were unchallenged.

And who says the ABC is infected with groupthink?


Moronic: Greens MP links NSW bush fires to climate policy

Greens see an opportunity to make cheap political points

Greens see images like this as an opportunity to make cheap political points

Adam Bandt is a typical Greenie, and because he, like all the rest of them, is on an ideological crusade and possesses no brains, he is unable to understand even the basic facts about Australia’s contribution to “global warming”, which is why Bandt has claimed on social media that the Coalition’s climate policy will cause more bush fires, like those suffered by many areas yesterday.

Never mind the fact that over 100 homes may have been destroyed and many others damaged by the fires (which were intense due to a strong wind, but not at all unusual or unprecedented), Bandt was more interested in scoring cheap political points:

And being the brainless greenie he is, he continued to defend the indefensible today:

Mr Bandt said the link between extreme weather events and global warming needs to be recognised.

“Global warming is the biggest threat to Australian life,” he said.

“I don’t want every summer, let alone every spring, for us to be worrying about whether we are going to see these kind of bush fires again, to have to worry about threats to people’s property and threats to people’s safety.”

Not quite sure why Bandt finds this so difficult to comprehend, but Australia’s emissions are 1.5% of the global total. If we reduced that to zero overnight, it would make no difference at all to the climate. As it is, we are only planning to reduce by 5% by 2020, or in other words, 0.075% of global emissions, when the major emitters are doing close to nothing by comparison.

And Bandt thinks that will make a difference to bush fire frequency or intensity?

Idiotic statements like this will ensure the Greens are consigned to the sewer of Australian political history, where they rightly belong, from whence they shall be flushed out into the sea with all the other turds.

The weather isn't getting weirder

Big weather for sure, but weather just the same

Try telling that to Bob Brown, or Tim Flannery or any of the countless other alarmists who have no concept of geological time, or even recent weather history. All you need to do is search the news archive to find countless stories of terrible disasters well before man’s emissions of carbon dioxide could possibly have had any effect.

But instead, whenever we suffer extreme weather, the Chicken Littles rush to blame “man-made global warming” because they cannot think of anything else, and they have a political agenda to advance by whatever means possible. We saw it with the Queensland floods, and Cyclone Yasi, the Big Dry and the Victorian bushfires, and we will no doubt continue to see it for every extreme weather event in the foreseeable future.

But unfortunately, a recent study shows no evidence of increasing severe or extreme weather, as the Wall Street Journal reports:

Last week a severe storm froze Dallas under a sheet of ice, just in time to disrupt the plans of the tens of thousands of (American) football fans descending on the city for the Super Bowl. On the other side of the globe, Cyclone Yasi slammed northeastern Australia, destroying homes and crops and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.

Some climate alarmists would have us believe that these storms are yet another baleful consequence of man-made CO2 emissions. In addition to the latest weather events, they also point to recent cyclones in Burma, last winter’s fatal chills in Nepal and Bangladesh, December’s blizzards in Britain, and every other drought, typhoon and unseasonable heat wave around the world.

But is it true? To answer that question, you need to understand whether recent weather trends are extreme by historical standards. The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project is the latest attempt to find out, using super-computers to generate a dataset of global atmospheric circulation from 1871 to the present.

As it happens, the project’s initial findings, published last month, show no evidence of an intensifying weather trend. “In the climate models, the extremes get more extreme as we move into a doubled CO2 world in 100 years,” atmospheric scientist Gilbert Compo, one of the researchers on the project, tells me from his office at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “So we were surprised that none of the three major indices of climate variability that we used show a trend of increased circulation going back to 1871.”

In other words, researchers have yet to find evidence of more-extreme weather patterns over the period, contrary to what the models predict. “There’s no data-driven answer yet to the question of how human activity has affected extreme weather,” adds Roger Pielke Jr., another University of Colorado climate researcher. (source)

And the conclusion makes even more sense: “prosperity and preparedness help”. In other words, we must have strong economies in order to adapt to the inevitable climate changes that will affect humanity in the future, not economies that are fatally crippled by pointless emissions reduction taxes.

(h/t Peter C)

Fires, floods, war, pestilence, famine, death…

Four Horsemen of Global Warming

… and they’re all caused by climate change, of course. Latest natural disaster to be pinned on ManBearPig is the Perth fires. It’s like every year, media hacks get a collective case of sudden amnesia, and forget that Australia has ever had any extreme events before! So when we get bushfires, they’re somehow shocked and surprised! And because it’s so unprecedented (everything is unprecedented if you have the memory of a house-plant), they rush to blame climate change:

Associate Professor Grant Wardell Johnson from Curtin University studies climate change and its effect on the environment. “All the climate change models to south western australia show we’re getting drier and warmer and we are getting more extreme events.” He warns Perth needs to treat the risk of bushfire as if it’s a war, and he says we need to rethink where we live. “In a fire prone environment that we’ve got in South Western Australia, very dangerous to be building in the bush.” (source)

And all this at the same time that the same climate change is being blamed for the floods and cyclones in eastern Australia. I sincerely hope the long-suffering public will, eventually, tire of this nonsense…

Firefighters' misguided protest

Black Saturday

Black Saturday

The events of Black Saturday and the loss of life that resulted were a national tragedy. Like every other Australian, I owe an eternal debt of gratitude to the work of our nation’s firefighters, who carry out heroic work on a daily basis.

However, it can be rather too easy to look for blame, and to jump to the conclusion that such horrific events arose directly because of “climate change”. The United Firefighters of Australia union appears to have succumbed to this temptation, and is engaging in a misguided protest in Canberra today to urge Senators to “take action on climate change”:

The union made a similar call for action in the wake of February’s devastating Victorian bushfires and Peter Marshall has today repeated the call as parts of South Australia are now declared catastrophic code-red areas.

With only five parliamentary sitting days left to pass the scheme, Mr Marshall has warned that without efforts to combat climate change, bushfires across the country will increase in frequency and intensity.

We are not scientists but we are the people on the front line,” he said.

“If there is not action put in place now, Federal Government’s research says that places such as Canberra by 2050, the type of fires we’ve seen here in 2002 will happen on an eight-year basis.

“We are asking you very clearly, stop making this a political football, put in place the action that’s required to secure the future because by 2020 we are going to see a frequency like we’ve not seen before.”

Unfortunately, there are so many assumptions and flawed steps in the logic of this approach, namely:

  • that the climate is changing as a result of anthropogenic CO2 [only partially at best]
  • that reducing Australia’s emissions by means of the ETS will affect climate [it won’t]
  • that severe bushfires are the direct result of climate change [they’re not]
  • that reducing emissions will therefore reduce the instances of severe bushfires [it won’t]

As with everything else connected with climate change, trying to stop it is pointless, and adaptation is the only sensible approach. In this case, that means putting pragmatism above bush environmentalism, removing draconian council bylaws which prohibit or restrict property owners from clearing bushland on their land, and for state governments to clear and manage state owned bushland in a way which will prepare for such events in the future.

Read it here.

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