In Australia: The Stupid, It Burns.

October 23, 2013


As people in fire prone areas across New South Wales review their survival plans or flee for their lives, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said he is convinced there is no link between bushfires and climate change.

“Fire is a part of the Australian experience,” Mr Abbott told Melbourne radio listeners. “It has been since humans were on this continent…. Climate change is real as I have often said and we should take strong action against it but these fires are certainly not a function of climate change. They are a function of life in Australia.”

The Australian:

The damage and destruction the bushfires have caused is unprecedented for this time of year, NSW Rural Fire Services Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.

His remarks come as firefighters battle two emergency fire situations at Linksview Rd in Springwood and at Gateshead, with the blaze at Stockrington Road at Minmi downgraded to “watch and act”.

“Never before have we seen the extent of damage and destruction and wide-scale fire activity at this time of the year,” Mr Fitzsimmons said.


According to David Bowman, professor of forest ecology at the University of Tasmania, who has studied bushfires for more than 30 years, bushfire behavior is showing signs of change.

“The problem with Australia is that the records are pretty shallow, which makes it really difficult to talk conclusively about any of the fire activity. But when you piece everything together there’s some very convincing evidence.

Aggressive fires

“Even the firefighters are reporting really unusual behavior,” said Bowman, adding that firefighters are fighting bigger and more aggressive fires.

“Normally at night — and this is borne out by firefighters in the United States — the fire will quell as the temperature cools. But firefighters are saying that because of the heat, bushfires are burning just as fiercely at night. It’s all getting pretty worrying.”

He said duration was also a factor that was changing in bushfire behavior.

“It’s no big deal to have a fire in October but to have one that has burned like this for more than a week at this level of intensity is unprecedented.


10 Responses to “In Australia: The Stupid, It Burns.”

  1. livinginabox Says:

    Mr Abbot may have said“Fire is a part of the Australian experience,” but to quote the “suppository of all wisdom”, he must surely have had his head rammed firmly up his fundament as far as it would go when he said it.

  2. In Norway, a part of the right wing government the newly appointed agricultural minister, Sylvi Listhaug, has been asked a lot about her position in climate change as she claimed a while earlier (with a picture of her filling up her Ford Expedition gas guzzler):

    “I feel there are more arguments now to be critical of the propaganda the government has been delivering. There is no proof that human CO2 emissions leads to climate change. Its primarily an excuse to add more taxes and fees.”
    (translated from Norwegian to English)

    Original 2011 article in Norwegian:

    She was recently asked again about her position but chose to be silent about this, clearly showing she does not yet acknowledge mans hand in climate change. How can they place a person that have no clue about the carbon cycle to be responsible for the politics within agriculture? Surely she will not be helping making our country resilient towards climate change or acknowledge the threat it is to our ability to import food if there are disruptions in food exports from other countries.

    So its not only the Australian people who have to live with clueless people in government…

  3. uknowispeaksense Says:

    The fact that The Australian newspaper reported that is surprising given it’s dodgy history where environment and climate reporting. It is a Rupert Murdoch rag and it’s environment editor, Graham Lloyd is a climate change denier of epic proportions. An excellent example with links to a thorough overview of the Australian and Graham Lloyd can be found here..

    That said, while they did quote Mr Fitzsimmons correctly, “Never before have we seen the extent of damage and destruction and wide-scale fire activity at this time of the year,” there is no way they would ever mention climate change in relation to these fires.

    I believe the Guardian may have also misquoted Mr Abbott. My recollection is that he said in relation to the history of fires in Australia, “It has been since Europeans settlement,” as opposed to “It has been since humans were on this continent…” This is important as Mr Abbott often forgets that Aboriginals were here first, which is symptomatic of his loony right elitism and sense of entitlement.

    “Climate change is real as I have often said and we should take strong action against it but these fires are certainly not a function of climate change.” This statement from Mr Abbott is possibly the most galling. Mr Abbott is a climate change denier through and through. His idea of taking strong action is to dismantle the climate commission, dismantle the clean energy finance corporation, remove rebates for solar, take away assistance in getting renewable energy to the grid, pull funding promised to renewable start ups and ongoing projects, make mining and fracking approvals easier by removing environmental safeguards, remove world heritage listing from large parts of the Great Barrier Reef and Tasmanian temperate rainforests, abolish the price on carbon and a dozen other environmental protections and programs.

    The stupid does burn here and Mr Abbott is playing that fiddle. I didn’t vote for him and he does not represent me.

  4. Bruce Miller Says:

    Poor arseholes, they can’t find a “crop” they can harvest for energy that grows well there, and ‘unconventional’ harvesters, grinders, pelletizers, to make bags and bags of it? Seems to me: if it will burn I can sell it for fuel? Canadians grow huge hemp crops to great heights, harvest, pelletize it for pellet stoves. heat their homes all winter with it? even fire huge boilers for industries? California has same problem same fixations? Canadians have waste-wood pellet, corn and oat pellet stoves – common here? Bush-lands that burn? Cash crop lost? I wonder.

  5. redskylite Says:

    A pity that Mr Abbott (like many others) does not accept the science and conclusions, however the other major Australian political party destroyed itself with silly infighting. My hope is that the clouds of denial clear from the man’s head as he deals with other unprecedented climate related events (which I’m sure will crop up during his reign). Predictions seem to suggest Australia will be one of the first geographical areas to encounter worsening affects of GHG caused climate change.

  6. daryan12 Says:

    Tony Abbott is starting to sound like I modern day king Canute…and he’s only been in the job barely a month!

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