Greens win, so Tasmania burns

Miranda Devine Blog, Daily Telegraph.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013
h/t Andy Scrase


It’s nothing to do with the climate.

WHEN Julia Gillard toured fire ravaged parts of Tasmania on Monday she couldn’t resist opportunism – using the calamity to push a climate change agenda.

As a result of climate change we are going to see more extreme weather events,” she said.

But the fact is Australia gets hot in summer – sometimes very hot – and if there is fuel on the ground it will burn. The more fuel, the wilder the fire.

Greens are environmentally disconnected

Green activists are mostly city dwellers with little understanding of the natural environment — regardless of how much they talk about it. How else could they put so much bush ecosystem, human property and human life at risk? Why did they go out of their way to meddle with well-tested systems of fire management that were working? Why do we listen to them?

Greens conveniently blame climate change. They pretend imposing a carbon tax or destroying the coal industry will prevent bushfires, while reducing the actual fuel which powers the flames is “futile”.

Despite the lessons which should have been learned in Victoria in 2009, the fuel in Tasmania’s forests has been allowed to build up because of Green opposition to fuel reduction burns, which they call “outdated, old school” and a “horrible blight”.

Green activists disdain expert advice

“If I pulled my hair out any more I wouldn’t have any,” laments Phil Cheney, Australia’s foremost expert on bushfire behaviour, now retired from the CSIRO.

Cheney says to manage fire you need a scientifically prescribed regimen of strategic light burns in cooler months.

That will reduce fuel loads which in turn reduces the power and intensity of bushfires. Cheney’s submission to the Victorian bushfires royal commission advocated strategic burning of 10 per cent of public land annually. The commission recommended an “annual rolling target of 5 per cent minimum of public land” – better than nothing.

Green victory – hope they’re proud

The Greens could reconsider their strategy on protection from bushfires, but they’ve had three years since the disastrous fires in Victoria and they’ve changed nothing.

It’s been a complete victory for the Greens. Last year’s Tasmanian forestry “peace deal” was effectively their final triumph, and leaves in doubt the future of 200,000 ha of plantation timber, most of which was owned by Gunns, which used to manage fire and pests in the forests.

Ironically, as timber families are forced out of work, their bulldozers and excavators, which are so crucial to building firebreaks to contain and control bushfire, are being repossessed or sold – and Forestry Tasmania has none of its own.

“You can fly around all you like in these helicopters, which lay a drop (of water) and go away,” says Cheney. “But after a point, a bulldozer is about the only effective way to contain fires.”

Mistaken doctrine kills trees, houses, people

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

In the end, the Tasmanian bushfires are a metaphor for the Green philosophy.

Misguided virtue, carried out with ruthless disregard for fairness, property rights or human consequences, leads to a totalitarian mindset in which the original goals are abandoned. Saving trees? Nah. More trees and wombats have been destroyed in the past week in Tasmania than ever were turned into floorboards for Tokyo.

It was all about destroying Gunns, and seizing political power. Well, congratulations Tasmania. Your Greens have delivered blackened graveyards where proud forests once stood.

Victoria and now Tasmania have tried the Greens’ poisonous pudding. They have gained nothing and lost parks, property and people.

They should discard the Greens’ madly mistaken doctrine and replace it with good Aussie sense.

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26 Thoughts on “Greens win, so Tasmania burns

  1. “Eco-Fascists: How Radical Conservationists Are Destroying Our Natural Heritage” now available on Amazon

  2. KP on 09/01/2013 at 3:12 pm said:

    Never mind the fact that the Greens in Tasmania actually do support fuel reduction burning. You only need to visit their website to realise that. But don’t let facts get in the way of a good bit of propaganda.

  3. Niff on 09/01/2013 at 3:57 pm said:

    No mention of Greens policy allowing fuel reduction burning here?
    but it seems they have been asked to respond….see

  4. Simon on 09/01/2013 at 4:21 pm said:

    I suggest that it is not Greens who protest about controlled burns, but nimbys concerned about getting their washing dirty and state governments reluctant to spend money. There is a Green element that believe we should leave nature locked up and totally untouched, but Australia’s eco-systems have co-evolved with Aboriginal fire-stick management so some kind of intervention is probably necessary in the absence of large herbivores. Tim Flannery has written heaps on this and other stuff which you would probably disagree on.

    • The farmers in my area are sometimes fairly anti-social in that they do burnoff when the wind direction takes the smoke over habitation.

      However, I can’t imagine anyone here objecting to stubble burnoff in principle because it gets the washing dirty. Take the washing in and hang it out when the burnoff is finished.

  5. Looking at the stuff on the web about Tassie, there does appear to be 2 cultures with respect to forestry – the Greens and the established forestry industry, at Loggerheads (pun intended)

    I don’t know if either is “right”, but there doesn’t appear to be much middle ground.

  6. Simon on 09/01/2013 at 9:09 pm said:

    Of course climate played a role. Temperatures were a whole degree hotter than anything ever recorded before. That is black swan territory and does raise the question whether conditions have changed.
    The green / forest industry argument is about how old growth forest should be treated. The fires that caused all of the property damage were not in old growth forest.
    Rightly or wrongly, Gillard will use this in the upcoming electoral campaign and Tony Abbott will have to make his mind up as to whether he believes AGW is real or not. I suspect he will but will declare that a carbon tax or ETS is not the right way to go about it.

    • Bob D on 10/01/2013 at 12:59 am said:

      “Tony Abbott will have to make his mind up as to whether he believes AGW is real or not.”

      The G in AGW means Global. There has been no global warming for the past 16 to 17 years. A local weather phenomenon in a part of Australia means nothing when trying to determine if AGW is real or not.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 10/01/2013 at 9:42 am said:

      >”The G in AGW means Global”

      Global being an aggregation of regional climate (the 30 yr kind, not stagnant high pressure systems). But global warming is not “global” so the global metric is skewed by regions exhibiting outlier anomalies for long periods due mostly to differing cycles. What was thought to be the sole driver of global warming (GHGs) now has to be revisited because the cycles are not combining to produce continued global warming from the aggregation of regional phenomena.

      The UKMO has just discovered natural cycles (Yaayyyyy!) and conceded that there probably wont be any more change for a few years:-

      And researchers are considering the possibility that the sun plays a role in global warming (Yaayyyyy!) e.g. NASA GSFC: Solar Variability and Terrestrial Climate:-

      Reality seems to be setting in at last thanks to questions raised by the absence of “global” warming.

      BTW Simon, might be enlightening to check out say, Chinese human deaths and stock losses from cold vs Australian human deaths and stock losses from heat.

    • Simon on 10/01/2013 at 2:02 pm said:

      It is also true that globally the ten hottest years on record have all been in the past 15 years. As a statistical expert, I’m sure you know how easy it is to cherry-pick to support your argument.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 10/01/2013 at 6:16 pm said:

      >”It is also true that globally the ten hottest years on record have all been in the past 15 years.”

      That doesn’t prove AGW Simon. If anything, the LACK OF INCREASE raises questions over what drivers are actually operating in the absence of anthropogenic forcing over that 15 years, as the UKMO are being forced to (belatedly) address.

    • Of course we can distinguish a trend rather than pick outliers to make a political point.

      However, the “clever guys” at SkS have apparently debunked the idea that warming has flat-lined for the last 16 years. They subtract the natural variability (which we apparently accurately know about) from the temperature trend to show a positive trend

      What they forget to tell us is that the entire global warming scare is based on the period 1976 -1998 that showed a positive increase in temperature anomalies (i.e 22 years) so they have 6 or 7 years to go before their theory looks like toast.

      I am sure we will look forward to that, one way or another

    • Andy on 10/01/2013 at 7:00 am said:

      Great, so people are actually still dying and the warmist creed are making political capital out of it, just like the politicians did in Christchurch after the Earthquakes.

      I suggest that these people find a hole to crawl back into real soon.

    • Meanwhile, of course, people are freezing to death in China because of the coldest winter in decades.

      This is of no consequence to the warmists though, who cherry pick their weather to suit their political agenda.

  7. Richard C (NZ) on 10/01/2013 at 9:54 am said:

    From 2009:-

    ‘Fined for illegal clearing, family now feel vindicated’

    Read more:

    They were labelled law breakers, fined $50,000 and left emotionally and financially drained.

    But seven years after the Sheahans bulldozed trees to make a fire break — an act that got them dragged before a magistrate and penalised — they feel vindicated. Their house is one of the few in Reedy Creek, Victoria, still standing.


    “Both the major parties are pandering to the Greens for preferences and that is what is causing the problem. Common sense isn’t that common these days,” Mr Sheahan said.

  8. There’s It an old hackneyed expression “tinder-dry” that springs to mind. It seems to me that it’s dryness, i.e. lack of rain, which creates the conditions for forest fires, rather than simply high temperatures. Plenty of studies have been done in the ‘States which show that forests, whether natural or plantations, need careful long-term management., especially in the creation of fire-breaks and reduction or elimination of undergrowth and fallen trees and branches. I’d say the case for frequent controlled fuel-reduction burns is a no-brainer; whatever “pollution” results will be far less than that caused by major fires that occur if fuel-reduction isn’t pursued to the required extent.

    I’ve read all the links above and can find no statement from the Greens that they support such measures. They seem to believe in a strictly “hands-off” approach to forest management, which effectively means no management at all. I’m a “greenie” (small g) when it comes to forests in general but I’m also a firm believer in sensible management to protect lives and property as well as trees. I’d argue that it’s better to risk being heavy handed when lives may be at stake.

  9. Pingback: Australia’s “new normal?” | Secular News Daily

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