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Bushfire - Australia (1 Viewer)

John Cantelo

Well-known member
Like me, I'd guess that none of those commenting here about the cause of this exceptional bush fire season (and in particular their relationship with global warming, if any) has any academic/professional qualifications or practical knowledge of the subject (but by all means correct me if I'm in error). Hence, although I've followed this thread and made a couple of observations, I've abstained from commenting on the causes of these terrible fires. I don't know the cause but defer to those I can reasonably expect to know far more than me or the media commentariat. Although I'm sure it's not perfect, I think a video from 'Potholer54' (see below) does a good job of pulling together what's being claimed in the media and contrasting it with what the expert scientists & firefighters have to say about the matter. Interesting viewing .....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0x46-enxsA
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Like me, I'd guess that none of those commenting here about the cause of this exceptional bush fire season (and in particular their relationship with global warming, if any) has any academic/professional qualifications or practical knowledge of the subject (but by all means correct me if I'm in error). Hence, although I've followed this thread and made a couple of observations, I've abstained from commenting on the causes of these terrible fires. I don't know the cause but defer to those I can reasonably expect to know far more than me or the media commentariat. Although I'm sure it's not perfect, I think a video from 'Potholer54' (see below) does a good job of pulling together what's being claimed in the media and contrasting it with what the expert scientists & firefighters have to say about the matter. Interesting viewing .....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0x46-enxsA

Thanks for that link with it's interesting contrast, though as a local I should say that those talking media heads are so far right wing that they are out there with the blinking navigation lights. Sky News is Murdoch owned - I don't have the stomach to watch or read a single thing they present. Peta Credlin is a former Chief of Staff for the 'mad monk' Tony Abbott when he was PM, before he was rolled by more moderate Liberal (Australian Liberal so right hand side of politics) Malcolm Turnbull, who was in turn rolled himself by 'God bothering' Scott Morrison as a compromise after a failed coup by far right 'walking dead undertaker' Peter Dutton. The others are even more extreme than her. Shock jocks is too tame a term.

Having said that, we should say that even mainstream, more moderate, or even left leaning 'green' media, and indeed science does not have a handle on the causes. These causes unfortunately cannot be divorced from the history, the governance, exploitation, or management of the continent.

Australia is a continent of droughts (and fire) and flooding rains.
Now though, because of the way the country has been treated, they are increasingly becoming destructive processes.

We are on the tail end of a widespread multi-year drought which is corresponding with record positive levels of the IOD. It has been a cracker in living memory. In terms of history it is a mere blip on the radar with the archaeological record revealing decade or more long droughts - droughts which Aboriginal people lived through.

A main cause is the ruined hydrology of the landscape. I have detailed that in several threads. Dryness creates heat. Suffice to say that with an intact building hydrated soil sponge that even though we are in drought, wetlands would survive, water tables would be higher, rivers would be flowing, the vegetation would be more moist, temperatures would be cooler, the transpiration cycle would be intact, and localised rain may fall. The 'modern' science on this has been virtually non-existent and is an important emerging field. If the 'climate' in Australia is changing, this (among other factors) is one of the reasons.

The NSW RFS Commissioner himself has said that more prescribed burning would not have prevented this disaster. Prescribed burning is something I am not a fan of. It fosters more fire loving and fire prone vegetation. Even if more environmentally friendly Indigenous burning practices had been practiced it would not have prevented some of what we have seen from starting - it certainly would have helped to contain it.

Again, this is an area that needs much further scientific study, and cannot be divorced from the hydrology of the land, nor indeed governance and usage. Edge effects from human population sprawl and footprint is another major problem - with all the fear and trauma of this disaster, knee-jerk calls for more back burning, more buffer would be an ecological disaster - leaving an area the size of several European countries as wastelands.

All of these areas need far more study to determine if natural cycles are changing in any way. We should address the factors (hydrology, governance, management, footprint, respect, etc) that we can, immediately.

As for the specific fire behaviour we have seen, that results from the dryness of the landscape, the heat that, and drought cycles cause, and the high winds combining with these high temperatures. This (40+°C temps and 80+km/hr winds) is not only sending Fire Index ratings off the charts, but it makes these conflagrations uncontrollable - generating their own weather systems which is sending firestorms spotting in all directions. Ember attack is a big feature of a lot of the houses lost.

As for ignition sources, it is easier to get rocking horse poop than it is to get detailed information about this from any of the Agency's or Government Departments. Man-attributable causes feature more prominently than has been let on. If dry lightning does strike during those 'catastrophic' weather conditions then one fire can naturally spawn successors.






Chosun :gh:
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Oops !
I forgot to mention the extraordinary ineptitude of the government in proactively preparing for what we knew was coming. Just extraordinary incompetence. They stripped funding, and ignored calls to bring in overseas waterbombing aircraft early.

The extent of these fires could have been so much less.




Chosun :gh:
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
Many thanks, Chosun for your generously detailed response. I wasn't aware of the background of the pundits mentioned. Like most things I suspect that the current extreme bush fire season is the product of several factors although I wouldn't like to say which carry the most (or least) weight.
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
Have to admit that in mountainous/hilly regions (as in lots of images/videos) I would find it hard to push water extraction as the major cause of the increased severity of fires.

Of course could be a factor (of many possibly) in some areas, especially near habitations/agriculture, but would expect the water table over large parts of the affected areas to have not been affected to the extent that it was a causal effect.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Have to admit that in mountainous/hilly regions (as in lots of images/videos) I would find it hard to push water extraction as the major cause of the increased severity of fires.

Of course could be a factor (of many possibly) in some areas, especially near habitations/agriculture, but would expect the water table over large parts of the affected areas to have not been affected to the extent that it was a causal effect.
Overall hydrology again is a very complex situation where comprehensive science has not been completed on the whole 'system' so I will try and be brief. Linking the hydrology of the various biotypes with vegetation transpiration processes, temperature and rainfall is an emergent scientific field (see the thread on Natural Sequence Farming - papers are few, but practitioners growing).

Bacically most aquifers /groundwater /springs, wetlands, and floodplains and riparian systems interact, and this is certainly what Indigenous lore has held since time began - many songlines are based on water flowing above, in, and below the ground, as well as energetically along ley lines etc.

The history, governance, and management of the country has had severe deleterious effects on hydrology and the linked ecosystems. It is not just the extraction of water (as I have been reporting on in the Murray-Darling thread .... I think everyone has a picture of thousands of kilometers of bone dry rivers and wetlands) , but also the extractive resource industries (various forms of mining, fracking etc) that compound this damage by cutting through aquifers and draining the landscape. This, and the erosion caused has reduced the water pressure 'holding' water 'up' in the higher elevations.

There are many documented cases of mountain located springs, wetlands, and swampy meadows being degraded or 'permanently' destroyed due to these causes. Even in the Snowy Mountains, the presence of feral animals such as brumbies do massive damage to these fragile water systems. In other areas it is feral pigs, etc.

It is in these ways that the landscape including mountainous areas have been drained of moisture and deprived of rainfall, thus making them more susceptible to fire. Still though the corporate and capitalist machine pushes pushes pushes, takes, takes, takes. The recently approved Adani coal mine is guaranteed water where none exists, they will cut through aquifers and 'hope' that wetlands such as the Doongmabulla Springs are not destroyed. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/scientists-say-desert-springs-face-extinction-under-adani-mine-plan . These waters are linked to the Great Barrier Reef. That is not good enough. What's the headline going to be in 5~10 years time - QLD completely incinerated from central inland to the reef?

I hope that helps a bit.






Chosun :gh:
 
Last edited:

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
News Corps fire fight

Similar to the video John posted, this is the Australian ABC TV's industry watchdog program - Media Watch.
This episode details biases and facts in the media's coverage of the bushfire crisis. Includes transcript. *** {could somebody please make a pdf of that transcript and post, as they are difficult to dig up later on} ***

The Murdoch lackeys feature prominently. Such an utter lack of true wisdom from the self-proclaimed 'intellegencia'. Even watching highlights packages of them puts my lunch in jeopardy .... *vomit*

https://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/episodes/news-corp-fire/11925590






Chosun :gh:
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
With Their Land In Flames, Aboriginals Warn Fires Show Deep Problems In Australia

https://www.npr.org/2020/01/11/7952...PYU4EIBPyiVBrbunkgJB97HdfW8vseDDRHvAdMI8foui0

"Aboriginal people have generations of knowledge about managing the landscape on this continent, but Butler says they're ignored by public officials who rely on the massive controlled burns, known as back-burns. Butler says cool burns target specific areas and even specific plants, while the current methods destroy everything in their paths."









Chosun :gh:
 

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