How do we establish AGW’s complicity in the latest disaster?

24 10 2013

As everyone reading this blog will know, Climate Change has been blamed for making the current fires in NSW “unprecedented”.  Nutjobs like Andrew Bolt were quick to fire from the hip attacking the ABC with statements like:

The ABC is furiously promoting the NSW fires as “unprecedented” and evidence of the global warming that actually paused 15 years ago.

This morning Fran Kelly, host of ABC Radio National Breakfast, claimed there had never been bushfires in October and implicated global warming:

The issue, some people say, is we’ve always dealt with fire, but not necessarily in October.

In fact, of 48 major bushfires in NSW between 1926 and 2006, 11 occurred in October or earlier

THAT list, conveniently stops in 2006.  During the period 1926 to 2006 there were 90 Human fatalities.  I say convenient, because the Black Saturday bushfires, a series of bushfires that ignited or were burning across Victoria on and around Saturday, 7 February 2009, three years after that list ends, killed 173 people and injured 414.  So it alone killed more people that died in all bushfires combined in the previous seventy years.  Furthermore, even back in 2009, Climate Change was also being linked to that terrible tragedy:

Professor David Bowman, an expert in forest ecology and bushfire management at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, says the research is useful because it confirms scientifically what we already know.

“It does open up some pretty intense political issues,” he says. “You’ve got to ask the question: why are people living in these areas if these disasters are only going to keep happening? Why do peri-urban communities exist?” Population growth in bushland areas and more frequent bushfire weather predicted with climate change are expected to create major challenges for protecting homes in the future.

It’s neither easy, nor helpful, making comparisons with what occurred a long time in the past…….. because everything changes.

On 6th of February, 1851 – “Black Thursday” – the largest Australian bushfire in European recorded history burnt an bushfire_victoria_house_safetyarea of approximately 5 million hectares (12.5 million acres), reputedly a quarter of Victoria.  The areas affected include Portland, Plenty Ranges, Westernport, the Wimmera and Dandenong districts.  Approximately 12 lives, one million sheep and thousands of cattle were lost.  The elevation of Port Phillip district into the colony of Victoria, was on the 1st of July 1851.

I found this particular fire mentioned as “proof” that Australia had major events well before Climate Change became an issue.  Yes, a quarter of Victoria may have burned in 1851…… but it was in February, not October…  and who was there to fight it?  How many trained fire fighters were there?  Where were the helicopters?  Do we even have data on temperature and wind speeds during that event…??

There’s no way of knowing of course, but I suspect that in precisely the same conditions today, there’s no way 5 million hectares would be allowed to burn……

Today, having sacked leading scientists at the Climate Commission, Environment Minister Greg Hunt announced he turned to Wikipedia for evidence that the devastating bushfires in NSW are not connected with our changing climate.

angry abbott

Prime Moronster

Hunt says that they have always been with us and have nothing to do with climate.  Indeed, they have always been with us but he ignores the increasing frequency of these fires, and is nothing but a lie by omission and unfitting of an Environment Minister…….

When pointing to Australia’s history of bushfires, Abbott also rattled off a list of historical events, and the dates were: 1851, 1939, 1968, 1983, 1994, 2003, and 2009 and now.  Ignoring, for a moment that none of those other fires were in October, take a look at the gaps between those events……..  80 years, 29 years, 14 years, 11 years, nine years, six years, and four years. Am I the only one detecting dumbing down…?

The deniers are out in force, but I think the time has come when people are starting to wake up to the fact we are heading for even worse situations.  How much longer before the likes of Bolt and Hunt are tried for treason?