Things wrongly attributed to climate change

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Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by plodder » Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:03 pm

Now the public debate about whether it’s happening / going to happen has settled down a bit (thanks Greta) it’s open season amongst commentators / politicians to attribute bad weather, drought, loss of biodiversity etc to climate change. This is f.cking irritating because these are always problems with multiple factors and many of them can be quite* easily controlled. Climate change will play a part, and might even be playing a part now, but it’s a whole lot more complicated than that.

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by rockdoctor » Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:27 am

We need a wider description. Anthropogenic Planet Fuckuppery APF. Covers all the different ways we are f.cking up the planet to its and our detriment

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by plodder » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:05 am

Yes, but there's also plenty of natural variability. The nuance and complexity is not touched on at all in articles like this one from today's guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... saster-aoe

Just because animals are increasing their numbers in the UK does not mean they're being displaced from elsewhere, they could be benefitting from eg European farming subsidies that encourage wildlife.

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by plodder » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:30 am

...and from the Australian wildfires thread:
plodder wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:29 am
Birds mimic all sorts. There's a blackbird in my garden that mimics the reversing sirens from the nearby industrial estate.

Here are a couple of links you guys might like (note the dates, it's evidence from 10 years ago).

The effect of land clearing on rainfall and fresh water resources in Western Australia:

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... y_analysis
It is generally thought that this decline is due to natural periodic variations and changes induced by global warming, but recently evidence has emerged suggesting that a substantial part of the decline may be due to extensive logging close to the coast to make way for housing developments and the clearing of native vegetation for wheat planting on the higher ground. We compare coastal and inland rainfall to show empirically that 55% to 62% of the observed rainfall decline is the result of land clearing alone.
and a bit more here.

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/ ... 816526.htm

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by GeenDienst » Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:04 pm

A talking boffin head dealt with the Australia thing quite well on the telly, by saying that climate change is making the fire season start much earlier and end much later, so you can expect more fires. Thus he avoided the need to point to one thing and say "climate change did that".
Just tell 'em I'm broke and don't come round here no more.

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by sheldrake » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:27 am

A really balanced treatment would always include 'alternative causes' and 'benefits of climate change'. Anybody who immediately points at an undesirable weather event and says 'climate change' without considering other explanations and never countenances the idea that there may be benefits to increased CO2 concentrations and slight increase in global average temps (e.g. increased crop yields in some parts of the world) isn't really being scientific.

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by cvb » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:35 am

sheldrake wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:27 am
A really balanced treatment would always include 'alternative causes' and 'benefits of climate change'. Anybody who immediately points at an undesirable weather event and says 'climate change' without considering other explanations and never countenances the idea that there may be benefits to increased CO2 concentrations and slight increase in global average temps (e.g. increased crop yields in some parts of the world) isn't really being scientific.
Yes it has the benefit of it being warmer where I live which is more pleasant for me.

I reckon we should stop worrying about it as there are obviously benefits that Sheldrake thinks must be taken into consideration. I am sure nobody else has even thought about how it might benefit people. For f.ck sake people just think about it. You won't need to take foreign holidays to get the sun. Think how much that will save your carbon footprint, which doesn't matter anyway. We have all been fooled by these climate change social warriors.

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by GeenDienst » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:50 am

cvb wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:35 am
I am sure nobody else has even thought about how it might benefit people. For f.ck sake people just think about it. You won't need to take foreign holidays to get the sun. Think how much that will save your carbon footprint, which doesn't matter anyway. We have all been fooled by these climate change social warriors.
This is where your satire starts to overlap with reality, as ever. It is Russia's policy to exploit the "benefits" of climate change, while mitigating other harms.
Possible “positive” effects are decreased energy use in cold regions, expanding agricultural areas and navigational opportunities in the Arctic Ocean.
Of course, Mr Putin is of the opinion that climate change is due to “processes in the universe”, even though Russia is a signatory of the Paris plan.
Just tell 'em I'm broke and don't come round here no more.

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by Martin_B » Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:06 am

sheldrake wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:27 am
A really balanced treatment would always include 'alternative causes' and 'benefits of climate change'. Anybody who immediately points at an undesirable weather event and says 'climate change' without considering other explanations and never countenances the idea that there may be benefits to increased CO2 concentrations and slight increase in global average temps (e.g. increased crop yields in some parts of the world) isn't really being scientific.
However, studies have been done looking at the yield of farmland in areas which have increased CO2 concentrations (around coal- or gas-fired power stations). What they found was that when CO2 levels increased there was no increase in crop yield. The plants instead grew with fewer stomata (the organs on the leaves which open to allow gas exchange) as fewer stomata were required to get the requisite CO2. It turns out that CO2 isn't the limiting factor on plant growth, which is more likely to be access to water or nutrients.

Expecting an increased crop yield from increased CO2 concentrations is like saying that a car needs a fuel tank to make it run, so if I put a larger fuel tank in it should run more quickly.
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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by Squeak » Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:40 am

Over in the Australia Is On Fire thread, Sheldrake wanted some details on why the current fire season is being attributed to climate change. I don't have much appetite for chasing down a thousand rabbit holes about a genuinely complex area of science but for anyone who's interested, here are a few pieces aimed at the general public that try to pull together the general picture. If there's a particular piece of the puzzle where the data are lacking, then perhaps we could discuss that piece.

In brief, any clear understanding of causality for fires probably needs to incorporate the following:

* Long term mean temperature change (~1C over the past century)
* Long term variability in temperatures (especially extremes, like the set of temperature records that tumbled over Christmas)
* Long term changes in rainfall over various seasons (autumn and winter rainfall drive veg growth and capacity for fuel reduction burns, while summer rain can help control existing fires)
* The temperature and rainfall interact to lengthen fire seasons, largely by drying out forests. Our fire season "should" just be getting underway now, not be into its fifth month.
* A lot of the weather in Australia is driven by a few big ocean/climate systems that play together to drive seasonal conditions - El Nino (which is neutral this year), the Indian Ocean Dipole (in a positive phase this year), and the Southern Annual Mode (in a negative phase this year)
* Increased CO2 can, where CO2 availability is the limiting factor, increase plant growth rates, potentially increasing the fuel load for fires
* Long term patterns in fire size, intensity, and frequency (ash layers in soil, charred tree rings, and age of fire-vulnerable species mean that we can, in some places, push this back thousands of years, though obviously with less detail than modern fires)
* Vegetation patterns (including land clearing, spread of fire-obligate and fire-vulnerable species)
* Water patterns (including extraction for intensive agriculture)
* Variations in fire management practices (I remember, in a previous career, reporting on an accidental bushfire in a cool season that the local fire authorities let burn through half the park (maybe 1000km2?), on the grounds that it would help in a bad year. So that fire had a huge footprint but in a good way. Hectares are therefore a limited proxy for tracking changes in fire patterns)
* Patterns in where and how people build infrastructure (tree changers and population increase make the peri-urban areas more vulnerable, so it's another limited measure of "how bad" the fires are)
* Changes in prediction and communication technologies (improving these tends to help people get out of the way,Modern communication systems and modern technology would generally tend to save lives, so death tolls are another limited measure).

There are a lot of interlocking pieces of the puzzle of understanding and assigning causality for changing patterns in the geographic extent, intensity, and temporal extent of Australia's severe bushfires. The data for some of these pieces is patchy, though it's excellent for other pieces. I am not a climate scientist, nor a fire ecologist, nor a fire manager, so I take my lead in understanding the patterns by listening to the people who spend their career investigating those patterns, unless I can see an obvious error in their working.

The links below are for media explainers and policy briefings, since they're handy ways to find the big picture conclusions. If anyone wants to discuss one particular piece of the puzzle, these will at least provide search terms and context.

Vox Explainer
Climate Council Briefing Paper
Guardian Explainer
Conversation article from November about modelling that predicts an increase in pyrocumulus clouds, thanks to climate change
More Conversation articles on bushfires. A decent starting place

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by bjn » Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:36 am

Thank you Squeak.

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by sheldrake » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:47 am

Martin_B wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:06 am
sheldrake wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:27 am
A really balanced treatment would always include 'alternative causes' and 'benefits of climate change'. Anybody who immediately points at an undesirable weather event and says 'climate change' without considering other explanations and never countenances the idea that there may be benefits to increased CO2 concentrations and slight increase in global average temps (e.g. increased crop yields in some parts of the world) isn't really being scientific.
However, studies have been done looking at the yield of farmland in areas which have increased CO2 concentrations (around coal- or gas-fired power stations). What they found was that when CO2 levels increased there was no increase in crop yield. The plants instead grew with fewer stomata (the organs on the leaves which open to allow gas exchange) as fewer stomata were required to get the requisite CO2. It turns out that CO2 isn't the limiting factor on plant growth, which is more likely to be access to water or nutrients.

Expecting an increased crop yield from increased CO2 concentrations is like saying that a car needs a fuel tank to make it run, so if I put a larger fuel tank in it should run more quickly.
Commercial greenhouses for tomatoes etc.. pump in co2 to increase yield

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by Squeak » Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:24 am

sheldrake wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:47 am
Martin_B wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:06 am
sheldrake wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:27 am
A really balanced treatment would always include 'alternative causes' and 'benefits of climate change'. Anybody who immediately points at an undesirable weather event and says 'climate change' without considering other explanations and never countenances the idea that there may be benefits to increased CO2 concentrations and slight increase in global average temps (e.g. increased crop yields in some parts of the world) isn't really being scientific.
However, studies have been done looking at the yield of farmland in areas which have increased CO2 concentrations (around coal- or gas-fired power stations). What they found was that when CO2 levels increased there was no increase in crop yield. The plants instead grew with fewer stomata (the organs on the leaves which open to allow gas exchange) as fewer stomata were required to get the requisite CO2. It turns out that CO2 isn't the limiting factor on plant growth, which is more likely to be access to water or nutrients.

Expecting an increased crop yield from increased CO2 concentrations is like saying that a car needs a fuel tank to make it run, so if I put a larger fuel tank in it should run more quickly.
Commercial greenhouses for tomatoes etc.. pump in co2 to increase yield
In a commercial greenhouse, a grower can control all variables that might limit growth - various nutrients, light, temperature, water, etc. At that point, it may well be worth pumping in CO2 to eke out a small increase in yield. But extra CO2 won't do much if that's not the limiting factor, which it often isn't in the natural world.

This week, I should probably also point out that extra growth isn't always a good thing, if what grows is extra fuel for enormous fires. :/

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by plodder » Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:27 am

Squeak wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:40 am
Over in the Australia Is On Fire thread, Sheldrake wanted some details on why the current fire season is being attributed to climate change. I don't have much appetite for chasing down a thousand rabbit holes about a genuinely complex area of science but for anyone who's interested, here are a few pieces aimed at the general public that try to pull together the general picture. If there's a particular piece of the puzzle where the data are lacking, then perhaps we could discuss that piece.

In brief, any clear understanding of causality for fires probably needs to incorporate the following:

* Long term mean temperature change (~1C over the past century)
* Long term variability in temperatures (especially extremes, like the set of temperature records that tumbled over Christmas)
* Long term changes in rainfall over various seasons (autumn and winter rainfall drive veg growth and capacity for fuel reduction burns, while summer rain can help control existing fires)
* The temperature and rainfall interact to lengthen fire seasons, largely by drying out forests. Our fire season "should" just be getting underway now, not be into its fifth month.
* A lot of the weather in Australia is driven by a few big ocean/climate systems that play together to drive seasonal conditions - El Nino (which is neutral this year), the Indian Ocean Dipole (in a positive phase this year), and the Southern Annual Mode (in a negative phase this year)
* Increased CO2 can, where CO2 availability is the limiting factor, increase plant growth rates, potentially increasing the fuel load for fires
* Long term patterns in fire size, intensity, and frequency (ash layers in soil, charred tree rings, and age of fire-vulnerable species mean that we can, in some places, push this back thousands of years, though obviously with less detail than modern fires)
* Vegetation patterns (including land clearing, spread of fire-obligate and fire-vulnerable species)
* Water patterns (including extraction for intensive agriculture)
* Variations in fire management practices (I remember, in a previous career, reporting on an accidental bushfire in a cool season that the local fire authorities let burn through half the park (maybe 1000km2?), on the grounds that it would help in a bad year. So that fire had a huge footprint but in a good way. Hectares are therefore a limited proxy for tracking changes in fire patterns)
* Patterns in where and how people build infrastructure (tree changers and population increase make the peri-urban areas more vulnerable, so it's another limited measure of "how bad" the fires are)
* Changes in prediction and communication technologies (improving these tends to help people get out of the way,Modern communication systems and modern technology would generally tend to save lives, so death tolls are another limited measure).

There are a lot of interlocking pieces of the puzzle of understanding and assigning causality for changing patterns in the geographic extent, intensity, and temporal extent of Australia's severe bushfires. The data for some of these pieces is patchy, though it's excellent for other pieces. I am not a climate scientist, nor a fire ecologist, nor a fire manager, so I take my lead in understanding the patterns by listening to the people who spend their career investigating those patterns, unless I can see an obvious error in their working.

The links below are for media explainers and policy briefings, since they're handy ways to find the big picture conclusions. If anyone wants to discuss one particular piece of the puzzle, these will at least provide search terms and context.

Vox Explainer
Climate Council Briefing Paper
Guardian Explainer
Conversation article from November about modelling that predicts an increase in pyrocumulus clouds, thanks to climate change
More Conversation articles on bushfires. A decent starting place
Not had a chance to read the links yet but thanks for this squeak.

What's striking from my perspective (work in flood risk management) is how similar the main categories are - land use, natural variability, different management interventions, the importance of warning, planning and communications etc. I bet the same applies to cyclones, volcanoes etc.

What I think is interesting about flooding is that the solutions are trending towards property-level-protection in many areas where it's not feasible to prevent flooding. I wonder if this is also the case (to some extent) with fire. Rather than eliminate the risk, accept and manage it.

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by sheldrake » Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:35 pm

Squeak wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:24 am

In a commercial greenhouse, a grower can control all variables that might limit growth - various nutrients, light, temperature, water, etc. At that point, it may well be worth pumping in CO2 to eke out a small increase in yield. But extra CO2 won't do much if that's not the limiting factor, which it often isn't in the natural world.
I'm thinking of studies like this https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/20 ... ning-earth
This week, I should probably also point out that extra growth isn't always a good thing, if what grows is extra fuel for enormous fires. :/
I expect brush clearance as a safeguard against fire being prevented by environmental groups has been covered somewhere else in that thread ?

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by plodder » Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:14 pm

That's an interesting link to an article (note not the actual study) sheldrake, which contains this quote.
The beneficial impacts of carbon dioxide on plants may also be limited, said co-author Dr. Philippe Ciais, associate director of the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences, Gif-suv-Yvette, France. “Studies have shown that plants acclimatize, or adjust, to rising carbon dioxide concentration and the fertilization effect diminishes over time.”
Not quite sure how this relates to Australian wildfires though, other than suggesting the forests might be bigger due to CO2, therefore a) the fires are worse and b) a greater-than-usual carbon sink has been released into the atmosphere in one hit.

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by Squeak » Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:37 pm

plodder wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:27 am

What I think is interesting about flooding is that the solutions are trending towards property-level-protection in many areas where it's not feasible to prevent flooding. I wonder if this is also the case (to some extent) with fire. Rather than eliminate the risk, accept and manage it.
Absolutely. The Australian landscape will burn regularly. Huge proportions of our dominant species are packed with volatile oils and depend on fire to crack open seeds, open the canopy, and fertilise seedlings. This is the pattern that's held (apart from Gondwanan refugia) for the last 60,000 years, though I don't think the causality of why that shift happened has been nailed down. Either newly immigrated people burned the landscape for hunting/agriculture or a climate shift favoured fire, which in turn made it easier for people to settle here. There's a rich asset of indigenous knowledge about fire management they is slowly belong listened to more. Of course, indigenous communities had fewer fixed assets, which couldn't be moved out of the path of fires.

I'm not sure that anyone was ever quite hubristic enough to try to completely suppress fire over any reasonably large patch of ground, given the overall flammability. So, almost all fire management is focussed on asset and human protection. Most of the fire management bodies emphasise that their fuel reduction targets are not about "chasing hectares" but about identifying particular areas where fuel reduction can be most protective.

Of course, fuel reduction burns in themselves can be problematic - every so often, one jumps containment lines and destroys homes or kills someone, and residents can get grumpy about air quality, so they have to be done with some degree of care. And the more you burn, the more you encourage pyrogenic species to move into an area, which you might not want to do, if they're not already dominant.

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by Squeak » Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:03 pm

sheldrake wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:35 pm
Squeak wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:24 am

In a commercial greenhouse, a grower can control all variables that might limit growth - various nutrients, light, temperature, water, etc. At that point, it may well be worth pumping in CO2 to eke out a small increase in yield. But extra CO2 won't do much if that's not the limiting factor, which it often isn't in the natural world.
I'm thinking of studies like this https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/20 ... ning-earth
This week, I should probably also point out that extra growth isn't always a good thing, if what grows is extra fuel for enormous fires. :/
I expect brush clearance as a safeguard against fire being prevented by environmental groups has been covered somewhere else in that thread ?
That NASA study doesn't really say much commercial greenhouses. ;)

And as plodder says, more green isn't necessarily caused by increased availability of the gas itself.

And yes, fuel reduction burning had been subject to fierce public debate in the Australian media. Land managers, (including forestry, parks, and fire authorities) and fire ecologists are just about unanimous on one side, trying to explain that they've hit their fuel reduction targets in recent years (better than previously), despite the shrinking weather window for controlled burning, and also that fuel loads aren't the key problem this year. In fact, some of the fires are doubling back over areas that burnt two weeks ago, where there's almost no fuel left to burn. In these weather conditions, the only way to reduce fuel loads enough to stop the fires would be to concrete over it.

Lefty political types are furiously pointing out that environmental groups don't have much policy power in this country, where Greens have a couple of seats, at best, in most state parliaments and our government is trying to outlaw environmental protests that harm the coal industry. Besides, the Australian Greens party's own policy encourages fuel reduction burning.

On the other side, right wing politicians and pundits are adamant that the greenies are to blame. I've been carefully reading The Australian (which tends to carry water for conservative politics) where this argument has been raised repeatedly and I'm yet to find an identified example of greenies preventing any particular hazard reduction burn or indeed altering fuel management policies in a way that increased the fire risk. That said, this is a complex policy space so words are almost inevitable. It's also an area where there's strong political and financial pressure to place blame so there will be any number of reviews coming up which might find the evidence that the pundits have failed to mention so far.

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by sheldrake » Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:10 pm

Squeak wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:03 pm
[

That NASA study doesn't really say much commercial greenhouses. ;)

And as plodder says, more green isn't necessarily caused by increased availability of the gas itself.
The NASA study is about our planet, and it attributes increased plant-coverage to increased CO2.

Increased plant cover could be a positive thing.

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by Squeak » Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:34 pm

plodder wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:14 pm

Not quite sure how this relates to Australian wildfires though, other than suggesting the forests might be bigger due to CO2, therefore a) the fires are worse and b) a greater-than-usual carbon sink has been released into the atmosphere in one hit.
I think that was a response to my wry aside above, which suggested that extra veg isn't always a good thing. (Mostly, extra veg is a problem with fires in intermediate weather conditions. In catastrophic conditions, everything will burn, regardless of how thick the veg might.)

But yes, we will lose a stupid amount of carbon from both the veg and the should this summer.

Interestingly, a federal government agency has just recalculated Australia's greenhouse emissions for the last decade, in a way that makes the temporary drop in emissions during our brief carbon tax disappear. It did so by increasing the weighting for soil carbon emissions, which were high due to a drought and bad fire season during the carbon tax period. I suspect that this new method will not be flattering when it is applied to this summer. :/

Nb - I can't say whether the new method is more or less accurate than the old one. The conflation of soil carbon emissions with direct human-driven emissions does make it hard to have sensible policy discussions though.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... t-happened

As a general aside, Australia's carbon emissions are hard to compare with other nations because we count land use change in funny ways that other countries don't and we have so much land that changes in this area (either actual land use changes or accounting changes) can dramatically mask changes in direct human emissions. Both measures are useful but care needs to be taken that we're not competing Australian apples with international oranges.

For details, see the section on LULUCF about two thirds of the way down this article.
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-n ... e-proud-of

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by plodder » Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:35 pm

Squeak wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:03 pm
And yes, fuel reduction burning had been subject to fierce public debate in the Australian media. Land managers, (including forestry, parks, and fire authorities) and fire ecologists are just about unanimous on one side, trying to explain that they've hit their fuel reduction targets in recent years (better than previously), despite the shrinking weather window for controlled burning, and also that fuel loads aren't the key problem this year. In fact, some of the fires are doubling back over areas that burnt two weeks ago, where there's almost no fuel left to burn. In these weather conditions, the only way to reduce fuel loads enough to stop the fires would be to concrete over it.

Lefty political types are furiously pointing out that environmental groups don't have much policy power in this country, where Greens have a couple of seats, at best, in most state parliaments and our government is trying to outlaw environmental protests that harm the coal industry. Besides, the Australian Greens party's own policy encourages fuel reduction burning.

On the other side, right wing politicians and pundits are adamant that the greenies are to blame. I've been carefully reading The Australian (which tends to carry water for conservative politics) where this argument has been raised repeatedly and I'm yet to find an identified example of greenies preventing any particular hazard reduction burn or indeed altering fuel management policies in a way that increased the fire risk. That said, this is a complex policy space so words are almost inevitable. It's also an area where there's strong political and financial pressure to place blame so there will be any number of reviews coming up which might find the evidence that the pundits have failed to mention so far.
Amazing. Direct parallels with dredging of rivers. This is really interesting - I bet the fire managers would have a ball if they were in the same room as the flood managers.

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by Squeak » Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:42 pm

plodder wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:35 pm
Squeak wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:03 pm
And yes, fuel reduction burning had been subject to fierce public debate in the Australian media. Land managers, (including forestry, parks, and fire authorities) and fire ecologists are just about unanimous on one side, trying to explain that they've hit their fuel reduction targets in recent years (better than previously), despite the shrinking weather window for controlled burning, and also that fuel loads aren't the key problem this year. In fact, some of the fires are doubling back over areas that burnt two weeks ago, where there's almost no fuel left to burn. In these weather conditions, the only way to reduce fuel loads enough to stop the fires would be to concrete over it.

Lefty political types are furiously pointing out that environmental groups don't have much policy power in this country, where Greens have a couple of seats, at best, in most state parliaments and our government is trying to outlaw environmental protests that harm the coal industry. Besides, the Australian Greens party's own policy encourages fuel reduction burning.

On the other side, right wing politicians and pundits are adamant that the greenies are to blame. I've been carefully reading The Australian (which tends to carry water for conservative politics) where this argument has been raised repeatedly and I'm yet to find an identified example of greenies preventing any particular hazard reduction burn or indeed altering fuel management policies in a way that increased the fire risk. That said, this is a complex policy space so words are almost inevitable. It's also an area where there's strong political and financial pressure to place blame so there will be any number of reviews coming up which might find the evidence that the pundits have failed to mention so far.
Amazing. Direct parallels with dredging of rivers. This is really interesting - I bet the fire managers would have a ball if they were in the same room as the flood managers.
In our sunburnt country, of drought and flooding rains* the flood and fire managers are often in the same room. Hell, some of them are inside the same skull. :)

*Dorothea Mackellar, for those of you not raised on Australian colonial poetry.

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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by Martin_B » Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:00 am

Squeak wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:42 pm
In our sunburnt country, of drought and flooding rains* the flood and fire managers are often in the same room. Hell, some of them are inside the same skull. :)

*Dorothea Mackellar, for those of you not raised on Australian colonial poetry.
Just as an interesting(ish) little aside, Western Australia was cut off by road from the rest of Australia yesterday. There are only three recognised roads which link the state with South Australia and the Northern Territories, 2 paved roads and a dirt road*. The three roads were closed by: fire, flood and cyclone.

* OK, plus dirt tracks, but not ones trucks would travel down.
"Don't tell me that the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon"

Squeak
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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by Squeak » Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:09 am

Our country is a bit ridiculous sometimes.

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Pucksoppet
Snowbonk
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Re: Things wrongly attributed to climate change

Post by Pucksoppet » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:34 pm

bjn wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:36 am
Thank you Squeak.
Seconded. Thank you for your time and trouble, and expertise in pulling together that list, post linked to below
Squeak wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:40 am
linky
.

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