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Monday, 27 January 2020


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You needn't have waited David. You know I'm 'just over here' do you not?

How could I forget, JK! But thanks for the confirmation.

That there's David 'a look-back' of what resulted from a "very heavy ice storm" my area got hit with back some ten years ago - isn't necessary for you to get into the details what I'd simply direct your attention to are some few of the provided pictures showing the felled trees littering entire forests (as well, built infrastructure such as high-capacity electricity transport grids and surface-placed communications substations).

In the immediate aftermath of that storm I myself (as well, the 17 apartments provided fellow veterans and their families I was [nominally] charged to "look after") At any rate our electrical power was cut off for eleven days during which - had I not been paying attention to weather forecasts I daresay believe some of the 'old fellows' would have froze to death from the effects of being cut off from heating systems.

In the very short window I'd been provided I suggested to my immediate supervisor that we "not bother the higher-ups" of our intentions because otherwise we'd be waiting til summer to get approval. And probably still be waiting for funding.

I'll not bother you with what we did to put the kibosh to the threat rather only mention that immediately after power was restored my immediate superior and I were lauded for "our quick thinking" but then after some of the early reviews of the 'system-wide jobs performance' found ourselves admonished [and me re-assigned] for that same "quick thinking" that as a 'knock-on effect' saw our local operating fund depleted.

(Nevermind we had receipts showing we'd solely spent toward propane heaters, water, alternative lighting, and no-cook meals. Oh and what probably really turned the trick - a two weeks toilet paper purchase when the "official authorizing budget" only allowed a purchase of five-days advance.)

But the main point of this little telling is that the ice-storm of 2009 got the regional electrical utilities managers attention (likely spurred from having had to replace some 30,000 utility poles and some whatever's the required transmission cabling that goes along with however long the distance 30,000 poles takes).

And to the electrical systems managers' credit they recognized the extreme likelihood, what with all the felled trees clogging their right-of-ways, in order to forestall the also extreme likelihood once all the felled wood dried out they'd probably have to re-replace those 30,000 poles they'd had to replace in the first place come fire season it'd probably be a good idea to get rid of it.

And so they did. By the only feasible means.

And now here in 2020 not only do we here in the Ozarks got regular duty hydroelectric production means we also got solar panel farms.

All that and as I understand it, Australian authorities have arrested about two dozen arsonists in connection to some of these fires. We usually have a few of those as well in our Western states, especially California.

Apart from the lunatic "green fringe" even those people who rarely go outside our cities know that an essential part of minimizing the effects of the bush fires we know will occur is to reduce the fuel load.

This was the common practice until the green ideologues got a firm grip on the short and curlies of our politicians and public servants.

One of my cousins owns a property on Mallacoota Inlet which was subject to one of the fires and suffered extensive destruction. The family had cleared around the house and removed all loose combustible materials from the ground surrounding. The adjacent property owner did the same.

Those two properties survived undamaged unlike the neighbouring ones where no clearance had been done.

This island continent has always been subject to bush fire and will continue to do so. Minimizing their effect has to be a priority and clearing ground fuel loads is one essential. It may mean the habitat of the Lesser Green Titted Ground Lizard is reduced but that is a price we will have to pay.

"There is nothing anyone can do about two of the three essential elements of these wild fires". Says you, and "The American Thinker" whose writers are barely literate and whose scholarship is nonexistent. Honestly, I'm obviously not a writer and certainly no critic but these guys are writing for a rag and toeing the party line. There is something that we can do and we should endeavour to do it, now.

The real cynical diversion is trying to make the issues all about arson, greenies, or lack of fire fighting expertise. These are the purest distractions. Arsonists account for none of the major fires (which have been largely attributed to lightening strikes). There are some recalcitrant teenagers in suburbia who are anti- social and think it might be a great idea to set something alight to liven up their boring existence but they're not the problem. Those fires on the edge are easily extinguished. The rest of the arrested and charged, are idiots who ignore the fire bans and have charcoal barbecues, light a small fire that goes out of control, or discard cigarettes in a dangerous way. Petty rule breakers, not people who want to burn the country down. It's not down to them.

It has stopped raining in large parts of Australia. Towns are running out of water. Parts of the country are not going to be viable for the locals much longer. I think that's called climate change. It's totally real and most scientists agree. So you can take succour from the lunacy of American non-thinkers or you can start paying attention to the science.

Just while I'm about it, and off-topic because I seriously doubt that I'll ever be a regular commenter. Your "Oop North" carry on is becoming irritating. Have you ever been there? When I worked in Cambridge one of my colleagues remarked that she was going "oop" to visit her Aunty who had obviously lost her marbles and gone up to live in the north. She happened to mention the name of the village whereupon I piped up that I came from there. Total embarrassment from her, shrug from me. She got back from her visit "blown away"by what a lovely place it was. If you've never visited, you should. York, Durham, Harrogate, the Peak District, The Lakes. It's not as mellow as the south but in its rugged way, totally gorgeous.

May I specifically and respectfully, recommend Harrogate as a place for old Southerners to discover?

Mary the principal cause of the ferocity of the fires is fuel load and that has nothing to do with climate change but a lot to do with policy regarding management of our bush.

There has always been climate change. Try the Ice Ages, and the Little Ice Age of the 1700's. As for warmth the pre-Roman Brits were growing grapes for wine and at one stage grapes were being grown as far north as 55 degrees.

Australia has always been subject to enormous swings in climate/weather. Look for Dorothea McKellar's poem "My Country". Not exactly new on the scene.

For a resume of the history re bush fires from 1851 try

As for 'you can start paying attention to the science'. There are plenty of well credentialed scientists who disagree with the meme of the climate doom side of the argument.

Science is never settled.


I'm American I'll freely admit but as your questioning "Have you ever been there?" I suspect Yes.

I recall from your previous comments where, generally, you are and have immediately resided and can say with some confidence "Why yes Mary I've a fair good idea where firelines would have made all the difference."

Take your one instance, lightning and ignoring the possibility of arsonists think what you will about the former, lightning strikes as it will.

Shall no fuel load in such circumstance, in the presence of that which is constantly reinvigorating itself not, finding itself struck by the temperatures lightning is, discover itself in incendiary?

What happened Mary previous to, which forests surely did, prior to humanfolk's settling? Did lightning not strike before the advent of humankind?

Where to begin, JK? I know for a fact that many who reside in the south of England have never ventured beyond Birmingham. If they have, and they're of a particular group, they're likely have taken a quick trip to The Lakes. They're more likely to have travelled all over Europe than have driven a few miles up the road. I have known these people. I do know them. I ask David again...have you ever been to the north of your country?

I've seen your argument before Aussie D. All about ice ages, mini ice ages and grape growing. We may know that it became cooler but we have no record of how hot it became in the intervening years because thermometers weren't so reliable back in the dark ages! It's all but certain that it has never been so hot. Clearly the science on which we rely on for myriad aspects of our lives is not questioned in the same way. Cancer specialists, tech experts, mathematicians and physicists at the top of their we say to them, hang on a minute, I know better. No, we don't. The top scientists in the world overwhelmingly believe in the science of climate change. However inconvenient that may be.

"Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row."

Sorry, Mary, I couldn't resist that one!

As to your implied assertion that something *can* be done about two of the basic requirements for massive bush fires, that is, heat and oxygen, I am waiting eagerly to read your suggestions! I trust you will be careful about restricting oxygen because personally I find it rather essential!

As to me 'going oop North', I can assure you that I have done so "many a time and oft'" Mostly, I admit, at 'the request of Her Majesty' when I was in the army. I found it to be mostly cold, wet, windy and sheer hell to march over! Also, the natives were mostly incomprehensible! True, the lake district was beautiful - as seen from ground level! - but clambering up those beautiful, green hills was OK except if you fell over when you discover - the hard way! - that the soft green verdant cover was only about half a millimetre thick and that underneath it was rock-hard granite! Sorry, but I think I will stick to 'zunny Zummerzet'!

"I know for a fact that many who reside in the south of England have never ventured beyond Birmingham."

Does the name Galloway ring a bell Mary?

And actually I've been to the Arctic as well as the Antarctic. As well Arkansas. Heck I even got kinfolk in Tasmania.

Never, admittedly with a boatload of Climateers but then again neither have I been stuck in a [receding?] ice floe. Either on the top or the bottom.

I've seen fire and I've seen rain - but what the hey.

"It's all but certain that it has never been so hot."

Owing no doubt to unreliable thermometers - they don't make 'em like they used to?

I trust you are the same Mary who posts at Carpenter's place? Some of Carpenter's "Amen Chorus" yesterday told our David to go do something that for David at his age would be physically impossible to do. At least you refrain from that.

Good for you, Mary. The old science-denying, oil company propaganda swilling ducks here don't make a bit of difference in the big picture, but a valiant effort all the same. If they live to see Venice and Miami underwater half the year they'll still not change their minds.

Science, Bob? What science? Virtually all their silly forecasts failed to occur!

And by the way, Venice went dry a few weeks back!

Read 'em and weep, David:

"Large majorities of registered voters also support:

Funding more research into renewable energy sources: 87% of registered voters, 96% of Democrats, 81% of Independents, and 77% of Republicans.

Generating renewable energy on public land in the U.S.: 86% of registered voters, 94% of Democrats, 79% of Independents, and 79% of Republicans.

Providing tax rebates to people who purchase energy-efficient vehicles or solar panels: 82% of registered voters, 95% of Democrats, 68% of Independents, and 70% of Republicans.

Regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant: 75% of registered voters, 92% of Democrats, 62% of Independents, and 59% of Republicans.

Finally, more than half of registered voters (62%) would support a U.S. president declaring global warming a national emergency, including a majority of Democrats (85%) and Independents (57%), and about one third of Republicans (35%). Support among all registered voters increased by 17 percentage points since April 2019.

"The conversation held over the past few days showed that it’s become impossible to ignore reality: a warming planet is reshaping geopolitics and threatening the economy as we know it. Around the halls of the conference center in Davos, CEOs and government ministers, politicians and celebrities, talked about big solutions to fix that. They discussed how GDP has failed us as a metric of societal health and the need for new government support for climate mitigation."

Mary's right about the dopey American Thinker too.

Bob, do you really suppose that I give a flying fig what a majority of voters believe? I make up my own mind!

David, it's just adorable that you think you're making up your own mind.

So, Bob, oh wise one, do tell me who makes up your mind?

Why David, you of course. Maybe just not in the way you intend.

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