The Blame Game – this year is centred on the fires!
As I considered some of the recent news articles on ‘Australia Burning’ The words of a song came bouncing into my thoughts. Some of you may remember the 60’s song ‘Blame it on the Bossa nova’, a 1963 hit single for Eydie Gormé; it became an idiom at the time when someone did not want to take the responsibility themselves, they would say, “blame it on the B……….” Thinking on this now, it has reiterated in my mind, how easily we allocate blame to defuse responsibility and accountability.
When reading these articles, it became so obvious that everybody wants to blame anyone or anything but themselves, namely the government and in particular, the PM. Well I don’t think anyone would seriously think the PM started the fires by personally setting fire to the bush, but somehow it is his fault. I hope it makes people feel better to put the blame on someone far removed from themselves and ignore what I believe are very relevant reasons why our 2019-2020 bushfires are so server and hard to put out, compared to what it was like to fight bushfires 50-60 years ago.
I think I can articulate my position adequately, being quite well informed on the subject matter, having lived through 68 years of fire seasons in both the fringe areas of Melbourne’s bushlands and in the Victorian high plains and snow country of the North East.
I recently read headlines on the internet from the New York Times on …
‘How Rupert Murdoch Is Influencing Australia’s Bushfire Debate ‘. It read …
‘Critics see a concerted effort to shift blame, protect conservative leaders and divert attention from climate change’. Dated/ Published Jan. 8, 2020
I thought what a lot of ‘Hog Wash’. Australian Media does anything but, protect conservative leaders and divert attention from climate change.
(1) Chris O’Keefe – Sydney Morning Herald writes…
People are looking for someone to blame and right now the PM is in their sights.
At Batemans Bay, there was a kilometre-long queue to just to get petrol at the local Caltex. Thousands of people had just endured the hell of the New Year’s Eve blaze and were told to get out before another potential catastrophe this weekend. (Jan 11-12)
There’s minimal power, so many ATMs weren’t working. The service station was only taking cash, which caused an even longer wait to fill up. Then when people finally got to the cashier with a credit card, they were told they couldn’t pay. Some just drove off, which led to threats from the petrol station owner that he would shut the whole place down. The local supermarkets were shopped out and some towns like Lake Conjola are cut off completely. Local Robin Coote lost her home and the first drink of water she had was when one of our crews handed her a bottle.
Water treatment plants have been damaged, the roads are closed, and phone towers have been burnt out. In some places, they can’t make a call to family members to tell them they’re alive. Parts of the roadway have melted away from Batemans Bay to Mallacoota. In Lake Tabourie near Ulladulla fire jumped the Princes Highway leaving the roadway so badly damaged it needed to be dug up and replaced.
Check out this RELATED ARTICLE where sadly the prime minister is targeted once again https://www.smh.com.au/link/follow-20170101-p53ogb – click link. It certainly does not appear that the Media are giving much protection to Mr Morrison.
(2) Further reports from the Sydney morning Herald:
… RFS warns of dangerous conditions this weekend as South Coast evacuates RE: (11th, 12th and13th) Coping with the scale of the disaster unfolding on the NSW South Coast was never going to be easy but, with tens of thousands of stranded people trying to survive without basic necessities, there needs to be an unprecedented response. Right now, locals cannot work out who is in charge. I’ve heard of officials running evacuation centres not knowing they can put people up in motels, paid for by the government. They end up unnecessarily sleeping on the floor of bowling clubs.
The Prime Minister has been firm on saying the response to this disaster is ultimately a state issue and he will help when asked. The response is well co-ordinated, he told a press conference today. But for people whose homes are wiped out and families without nappies for their babies, this must ring hollow. The federal government may well be on a hiding to nothing, but rhetoric and blame shifting to states (though a factual lesson in federalism it may be) does not help.
Former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Keelty was tasked by the federal government to look at water and drought. He put an idea to government as early as September, proposing a national body to deal with disaster response. Keelty wanted it modelled on the New Zealand Earthquake Commission, which joins up all levels of government, defence and private contractors to reduce response times when a crisis hit. – Nothing has happened.
Gladys Berejiklian (Non-Conservative Labor Govt.) shows up every single day. Empathetic, straight and professional. Information and fact are what the Premier arms herself with. Scott Morrison though, by his own admission, has made mistakes.
Twitter might demand our politicians extinguish the fires themselves, but the thousands of people who have had their homes flattened or are stranded along our coastline are realistic. They want their basic needs met. Scott Morrison may be a religious man but he’s not a miracle worker – and he doesn’t need to be. He needs to be seen to a be a leader who can handle this disaster. People are looking for someone to blame, and at the moment he’s a good candidate.
And so, reports our ‘leftish’ Media! …
So who really is to blame for the devastating bushfires that we are experiencing more and more these days?
Bushfires have always been the horrible side of country AUSTRALIAN summertime!
As a child I lived where the country met the city, in the south eastern outer suburbs. I have many memories of nearby bushfires and recall my father and teenage brother going to fight fires. I remember the cinders landing in our back yard and the red glow in the sky. My dad had put in a
powerful fire hose and we had a water tank, I can still see him saturating the roof and yard with water. It brings me to tears when I think of some of the battles my parents endured, but I never heard them wing, they just did what they had to do.
When I first went to live in Mount Beauty, a small country North East town at the foot of the Victorian snowfields in 1970, I would frequently have nightmares of the mountains around me burning. In my dreams the fires would race up the mountain behind where I lived, and I would throw myself prostrate on the floor and cry out to God to stop the fires. It then seemed they went back and at that point I woke up quite relieved that I was only dreaming.
In those days, bushfires were something we prepared for throughout the year, we cleared the undergrowth and burnt off during the year when it was not dangerous. Everybody was aware of the importance of maintaining the scrub and ridding the land of the dross – rubbishy scrub, dead trees branches, long grass etc that could be fuel for summer fires.
Farmers grazed their cattle on the High Plains, which was another fire prevention move and a very soothing sight for those who had to make the drive across the high plains in summer. It served two purpose: no summer bush fires because the cattle ate up the fire fuel; and it was great grazing land for the livestock. Yes, I know they trampled on some of the natural habitat, destroying, so it is claimed, some bush flora and fauna. Well ironically enough, I’m sure the fires since have done a much better job of that.
To answer the leading question, who or what is to blame for the fires, we should reflect on what we once had to what we have now.
In Years past we experienced challenging fires nearly every year, but they were mostly contained fairly quickly and brought under control. That is not to say the devastation of fire was more easily accepted.
However, in the last 12 years or so there has been a shift from serious and challenging fires to raging infernos.
Most of the reasons for this, I believe is not the climate, but us. We the people of Australia have become slack, having pushed governments to overcompensate on some environmental issues such as natural habitat, majoring on endangered bush species both flora and fauna. In the process to save the bush we have created the perfect conditions to destroy the bush and threaten the most valuable of species the habitat of humans! I understand environment is important, but I think we must put people first.
Climate Change is not causing our Bushfires, I agree weather conditions can be an asset or a stumbling block in fighting fires and lightning can start fires when conditions are dry, but if there is no undergrowth fuel to fan the fires then the chance of raging fires are much less. We don’t need a ‘Bushfireoligist’(my new word) to tell us that, IT IS PLAIN COMMON SENCE.
I would like to follow up my statement with some documented information below. This does not include 2019 – 2020
- The hottestday on record for the whole of Australia was 7 January 2013, at 40.30 °C (104.54 °F average). In a 90-day period 123 record-breaking weather events were recorded. Both Sydney and Hobart recorded their hottest temperatures on record in January 2013.
en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Angry Summer (this report is from Wikipedia which I do not believe is totally unbiased)
There are other opinions on climate change, but our Left media and governments do not wish to give them an unbiased hearing. …
- Late 20th century was warmest in 1,400 years Sceptics have claimed bouts of cooling or warming before the Industrial Revolution—including two episodes in Europe called the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age—are proof that climate variations are natural, not man-made.
- During discussions with my uncle who recently died at 99 years, I found was taught in school about the Medieval Warm period which claims had warm temperatures higher than today’s European temperatures.
- The Meeting Place > Hot Topics >Australia’s hottest day? Not 2010, (or 2019) but 1828 at a blistering 53.9 °C
Australia’s hottest day? 1828
Back before man-made climate change was frying Australia, when CO2 was around 300ppm, the continent savoured an ideal preindustrial climate, right? (This is the kind of climate we are spending $10bn per annum to get back too?)
We are told today’s climate has more records and more extremes than times gone by, but the few records we have from the early 1800’s are eye-popping. Things were not just hotter, but so wildly hot it burst thermometers. The earliest temperature records we have shown that Australia was a land of shocking heatwaves and droughts, except for when it was bitterly cold or raging in flood. In other words, nothing has changed, except possibly things might not be quite so hot now.
Silliggy (Lance Pidgeon) has been researching records from early explorers and from newspapers. What he has uncovered is fascinating. — Jo
Read more: on 1828:
435 people died in an 1896 heatwave — but scientists say the extreme heat events of today are still hotter. By Sophie Meixner and Daniel Nancarrow (Yet no major bushfires were reported in 1896)
Posted 21 Dec 2019, 6:06am (you can click anywhere for details)
RELATED STORY: Australia’s hottest day on record could fall later in the week (Dec. 2019) – Previously the hottest December day on record was 44.2C,(not including 2019) recorded on December 31, 1904.
That means 1904 was pretty hot too, and there were no major bushfires that year either.
- In the late 19th century, Australia was struck by a heatwave so intense that 435 people were killed and hundreds more were sent fleeing for their lives. It wasn’t bushfires that killed them it was the temperature. In 1896 the bush was dense, and the people were few. Bushfires of today’s standards would have wiped the country out. There were approx. 3,700,00 people in 1896 (Google) not much of a population to fight fires like we have today. Our current population is around 26,000,000 and those that have died from heat related events are much less in comparison. Yet some recent fires have been much more intense and catastrophic; my point being that the extreme heat may have contributed to the fires of the day, but the fires did not roar then as they do today. So, then my conclusion is that there are other major factors today that cause our bushfires other than heat due to our climate.
- Bourke, NSW, is recorded as hitting 48.9C three times in 1896, with a maximum temperature of 38C for over three weeks straight.
- But climate scientists say the methods used to record temperature in 1896 were flawed and heatwaves today are hotter. (this is hypothetical)
- They say the high death toll in 1896 was due to the community being more vulnerable to heat events. (again, hypothetical)
The 1895-1896 heatwave during the Federation Drought holds the record as Australia’s deadliest heatwave, closely followed by 2009, which recorded at least 432 heat-related deaths.
The town of Bourke lost at least 40 people — 1.6 per cent of its population — during the 1896 event, Sydney authorities reported … pedestrians collapsing in the streets. Newspaper reports …48.9 degrees Celsius on three occasions, and the maximum … above 38C for 24 consecutive days.
As Australia endures a series of intense and record-breaking heatwaves this summer, the 1896 event is sometimes viewed as evidence that Australia has always experienced extraordinary heat, and that the effects of climate change are overblown.
‘The town of Bourke is panic-stricken’
In January 1896, the Bourke Western Herald chronicled the rapid deaths of dozens of residents from heat-related conditions, warning that “living in Bourke under present conditions is … suicide”…..
“In view of the rapidly increasing rate of mortality it can scarcely be a matter of surprise that the town is panic-stricken.
“Every morning a large number of our townspeople, especially women and children, are actually fleeing for their lives from Bourke to some cool retreat.”
Horse-drawn carriages laden with ice patrolled the streets, picking up victims of heatstroke and rushing them to hospital, …. (This year was not a year where significant bushfires were reported)
EMBED: Chart: Deaths per decade from heatwaves < (Please click this is very interesting)
Below are the five worst and deadliest bushfires on record in Australian history. Four of the five have been in Victoria.
Five deadliest bushfires on record: Extracts, not complete articles below –
- Black Saturday (VIC), 7-8 Feb 2009
… Resulted from some of the worst fire conditions ever recorded in Victoria. Record-high temperatures and strong winds after a season of intense drought set the bush alight across the state.
What they neglect to say here is that there were many arsonists who lit fires across the state that year. I’m sure many of you would remember the court cases and inquiries that followed these fires. Of course, the undergrowth that should have been burnt off in winter also supplied major fuel for a record fire year. Man caused these devastating fires, not heat! Weather conditions just helped them burn longer.
- Ash Wednesday (VIC, SA), 16-18 Feb 1983
Widespread drought, gale-force winds, high temperatures and low relative humidity set the scene for a series of fires across Victoria and south-eastern South Australia. Accidents and arsonists started most of the fires, which spread rapidly through scenic residential regions near Melbourne and
Adelaide, resulting in the death of 75 people and the destruction of nearly 1900 homes.
Well here we have a reporter telling us how it really was … but that was nearly 40 years ago, when the Greenies did not have so much sway and the Media was not as left!
- Black Friday (VIC), 13-20 Jan 1939
… but the usual combination of high temperatures, strong winds, and low humidity finally triggered fires throughout bush communities near Melbourne. Well-meaning locals and graziers made the problem worse by trying to use controlled burns to protect themselves from disaster, only to see their good intentions help spread the flames.
Again, Man was the ultimate reason the bushfires were so bad
- Black Tuesday (TAS), 7 Feb 1967
An unusually abundant spring covered Tasmanian forest floors with litter, providing excess fuel for the bushfire season. Strong northerly winds and high temperatures coupled to help fuel at least 80 different fires across southern Tasmania, …
Man, was the reason here also; we neglected to keep the forest floors clear of litter which enabled the bushfires to burn with more intensity.
- Gippsland fires and Black Sunday (VIC), 1 Feb-10 Mar 1926
Large areas of Gippsland caught fire, culminating in the Black Sunday fires on 14 February that killed 31 people in Warburton, near Melbourne. Over the two-month period, a total of 60 people were killed.
(5) This year was not an extra hot year for Victoria with the overall mean temperature being considerably lower than NSW.
As I have not mentioned the part that arsonists have played in contributing to the fires that we have today, I would like to add the following: Statistics show that arson has greatly increased in recent years. I can personally remember the anger I felt toward those who purposely lit fires during the 2009 fires, also those that lit outdoor fires or used equipment that resulted in sparks setting fire to dry grass. These people do this in blatant disregard to the authorities, to the total fire ban warnings, people’s lives and property. Only a week or so ago there were three deliberately lit fires in the Langwarrin, area near where I live; fortunately, they were put out quickly. The potential for this turning bad was very high due to the highly populated area and substantial bushlands.
In the year ending 30 September 2016, Victoria Police recorded 4,480 arson offences across the state, an offence rate of 74.0 offences per 100,000 people in Victoria. In five years, the number of arson offences has increased by 33.6 per cent, up from 3,354 offences in the year ending 30 September 2012.
Another Govt. site reports:
Nov 3, 2017 – Police crime statistics from NSW suggest that the rate of recorded arson incidents is increasing, from 81.5 per 100,000 population in 2003 to …
aic.gov.au › Publications › Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice
My research shows that If we are to blame anyone, any thing or event, the evidence is not there to show that a slight change in temperature over the years has contributed to the raging infernos that we are experiencing today. Rather man is the main contributor. Namely:
1/ The Greens; for their ludicrous policies regarding the Australian bush and their view on preserving Flora and Fauna. Their views seem to have some Aussies spellbound!
2/ Arsonists; who willingly set fire to the bush with the intention of causing a fire.
3/ Carelessness on the part of man, not to be more vigilant on days of high fire danger.
4/ The people of Australia who have accepted government decisions to allow the bush to become a tinder box waiting for a fire to happen.
5/ We need to go back to the pre-70s where common sense prevailed. Start back burning again; allow animals to graze in bushland and on the high plains country.
6/ Australia Wake Up! Stop being so Green before you turn the country Black. Stop listening to the leftist media, who possibly, through ignorance just accept the trends of the day. Seek the truth. The real facts, though buried and forgotten are still available.
7/ Seek God, when situations seem hopeless, He can change anything around. Like in my dream, the raging fires went back on themselves, but only when I desperately sought God. Back then I did not know how prophetic my dream was, but now I realise we must get serious with the Lord, and when He sees our earnest hearts are toward Him, He will move ‘mountains’ for us.
- Chris O’Keefe is federal political reporter for Channel Nine.
- As above
- Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics Melbourne – Official Year Book of the . Commonwealth Of Australia. No 19.-1926
- https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10216306351231927&id=1248343255 The above link was sent to me by a friend, I recommend you check it out. This man is just another Aussie who can see what is happening in our Country.