February 11, 2009

Blame game begins

Eco-fundamentalists are all too predictably dancing around the flames and charred bodies chanting "climate change, climate change, climate change", as if this brown, drought, flood and fire ridden land had never before experienced natural disasters that challenge the capabilities of mere humans. Here ... and via Andrew Bolt here ...

Others claim this is god's retribution on Victoria for our abortion laws.

"Incendiary" abortion law reforms last year that made Victoria "the baby-killing state" are responsible for the devastating bushfires, controversial Christian leader Danny Nalliah said yesterday." Here ...

While some survivors have a more pragmatic, not to mention first hand, understanding of land management.

"Angry residents last night accused local authorities of contributing to the bushfire toll by failing to let residents chop down trees and clear up bushland that posed a fire risk."

One survivor at a council meeting explained, eloquently: "We've lost two people in my family because you dickheads won't cut trees down". Here ...

Seems we'll be required to pick our teams.


  1. I never ever thought that I would agree with anything this woman said, Caz... But, she is spot on here!
    "Fire is an essential element in the life cycle of Australian forests.
    Season by season sclerophyll or “hard-leaved” woodlands build up huge amounts of detritus, shed leaves, bark and twiggery, which must burn if there is to be new growth. Many Australian species, including most of the eucalypts, need fire if they are to complete their reproductive cycle. Seeds encased in woody receptacles need their capsules to be split by fire before they can be released to germinate.

    For 40 or maybe 60 millennia, Aboriginal peoples managed fire proactively, setting alight woodland, scrubland and grassland, so that they could pass freely, so that game was driven towards them, so that fresh green herbage was available. Aboriginal languages have dozens of words for fire. As the Endeavour sailed up the eastern coast, Captain Cook noted that the skies were darkened with smoke by day and lit up by fire at night.

    In the national parks of Australia, the importance of regular burning is well understood. Elsewhere the emphasis has been on prevention. Attempting to prevent fire in most of Australia is simply postponing the inevitable. Bushland that is not burnt regularly turns into a powder keg, as the fuel load inexorably increases. When dry eucalypt woodland goes up, it explodes, turning into a veritable firestorm. If no wind is blowing, it creates its own wind.

    The Australian governments, state and federal, are well aware of the cost of fire to the economy. People who want to build houses in sclerophyll woodland will be told that any space between the floor of the house and the ground must be sealed, and even that they have to clear the native vegetation for a radius of as much as 50 metres from the house walls. At the same time people in the most desirable seaside suburbs will be prevented by law from clearing native vegetation. Some of the most valuable real estate in Victoria is bordered by beachfront reserves that are an endless succession of thickets choked with tinder-dry dead wood.

    The most disheartening aspect of the Kinglake disaster is that since its foundation in the 1880s the township has suffered regular bushfires, in 1926, in 1939, in the 1960s, in the Ash Wednesday fires of 1983; two years ago almost to the day 1,500 hectares were destroyed by fire, but nothing was learnt. The cause of these disasters is not global warming; still less is it arson. It is the failure to recognise that fire is an intrinsic feature of eucalypt bushland. It cannot be prevented but it can and should be managed. Unless there is a fundamental change of policy across all levels of government in Australia, there will be more and worse fires and more deaths."

    Germaine Greer.....

  2. The dead are yet to be tabulated let alone interred and the blame game begins. "Climate Change", fire plans whatever.

    In Sydney we've gone one better. The execrable Miranda Devine, in obscene haste, has sorted out who is to blame or, rather, who isn't:

    It wasn't climate change which killed as many as 300 people in Victoria last weekend. It wasn't arsonists.

    Right! Stop there! That's quite enough of that! Arnsonists indeed! Release that man!

    Whilst the arch-conservative warrior of the Howard Years has a point with Greenies and fuel loads, she needs a reality check: police have made arrests; some of these fires were lit - not by tree huggers but by arsonists.

    Whilst fuel loads and Greenies have contributed to the intensity of these fires they did not light them. Fuckwits with addled brains lit them - some of them anyway.

    To claim that arsonists did not kill "up to 300 people" is humbuggery to push a point. I'm certain the courts - if we catch these bastards - will soon tell us how many people these mongrel bastards have killed.

  3. In fairness Father, there were 400 fires in Victoria on the weekend, and ordinarily up to 50% of all fires (any fire, not just bush fires) are the result of arson. Even the police aren't seriously suggesting that up to 200 of the fires were the result of criminal (and in this case wantonly evil) activity. There are only two areas, I gather, which appear to have highly suspicious circumstances around the origins of the fires.

    Two suspects arrested this morning, but I don't think that relates to the area of Churchill, where police investigations continue and many locals believe there was human intervention in commencing & continuing the fires. Many lives were lost at Churchill.

  4. Yes Kath, first sensible thing that Greer has written in at least a decade. (Her piece is quoted under the first link, in The Australian.)

    I took a little gulp the other day when I started reading, dreading what hair-brained offense she would unload on an unsuspecting public: *phew*.