Learning to win fast

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, November 12th, 2019 - 53 comments
Categories: australian politics, climate change, Environment, science, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uncategorized - Tags: , , ,

So Australia is burning, California has this year had unprecedented fires and the North Pole is melting.

Japan has had typhoons that, shock horror, caused the cancellation of two Rugby World cup games.  India and Bangladesh have been hit by unprecedented flooding, and Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands are facing an existential threats from sea level rises.

What is going on?  What can be the explanation?

Pretty well every climate scientist in the world has been predicting for decades that pumping too much CO2 into the atmosphere would have this effect.  It means that more heat is trapped and the world warms.  And we get increased incidences of violent storms, ice melts, sea level rises and fires.  Exactly like we are seeing now.

The right has been fighting this for a while.  There has been too much profit being made by the oil industry and by rampant consumerism and too many kick backs from mining interests amongst others for politicians on the right to ignore.  And the inconvenient truth that is becoming more and more obvious is that capitalist business as usual is wrecking the planet.

Australia is now struggling.  Who wants to lay bets on when an Australian exodus starts as people tire of continuous fires?

But the right is still putting up a fight, refusing to accept that climate change is happening and that business as usual is somehow acceptable.

The Liberals won the last election by inciting fear and greed, particularly in Queensland and by pushing the virtues of a coal mine that makes no environmental let alone economic sense.

And now they are going all precious on it, wanting climate change activists to not get “political” by pointing out what is very clear, that the crisis is an abject failure of political leadership.

And they are getting frustrated.  How dare we highlight their incompetence and their selfishness and stupidity at a time when their failings have been so clearly exposed?

Like this guy, who happens to be the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.  From David Crowe at the Sydney Morning Herald:

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has slammed the climate change concerns of “raving inner city lunatics” at a time when rural Australians are dealing with catastrophic bushfires, venting his frustration at questions about climate.

“We’ve had fires in Australia since time began, and what people need now is a little bit of sympathy, understanding and real assistance – they need help, they need shelter,” the Nationals leader told ABC Radio National on Monday after a series of questions about climate change.

“They don’t need the ravings of some pure, enlightened and woke capital city greenies at this time, when they’re trying to save their homes, when in fact they’re going out in many cases saving other peoples’ homes and leaving their own homes at risk.”

Mr McCormack singled out Greens leader Richard Di Natale and Melbourne MP Adam Bandt for “disgraceful” attempts to score political points by using the bushfires to prosecute their agenda on climate change and shut down the coal industry.

I am sorry but this is political.  And moral.  And as clear a failure of leadership as you can imagine.  No wonder the Greens are so sore.

And it is not just the extremist woke inner city living greenies that have been urging the Government to do something.  Australia’s former fire chief and two dozen senior fire officers have also been ignored.  From the Daily Mail:

A former top firefighter claims he and 22 emergency services chiefs were ‘fobbed off’ by Prime Minister Scott Morrison when they penned a chilling warning about impending bushfires and catastrophic weather in Australia months ago. 

Greg Mullins, the NSW Fire & Rescue commissioner from 2003 until 2016, and almost two dozen heavyweights sent a letter to Mr Morrison in April demanding an urgent meeting. 

The letter said the ex-chiefs wanted to speak to the PM because ‘increasingly catastrophic extreme weather events’ would ‘put lives, properties and livelihoods at greater risk and overwhelm our emergency services’. 

After sending the letter, Mr Mullins did not hear from the prime minister’s office for three months, when he was eventually offered a meeting with a lesser official, the energy minister Angus Taylor. 

Why is this happening?

Mr Mullins said veteran firefighters had noticed how the climate was changing. 

‘Things are happening here that are outside the experience of season firefighters. I’m seeing things that frighten me,’ he said.  

The son of a firefighter himself, Mr Mullins said he had tracked what is happening throughout his career: ‘In a nutshell – the fire seasons are longer now … it’s the new normal’. 

Mullins gets it.  Why can’t the Conservatives?

And in New South Wales the last Labor Government’s attempt to put in place a climate action plan.  From Peter Hannam at the Sydney Morning Herald:

The NSW government prepared sweeping climate change policies to decarbonise the state’s economy only to have the plans shelved when Gladys Berejiklian became Premier, documents obtained by the Herald show.

The program included a proposal to “embed climate change consideration into government decision making”, and was developed with the advice of the government-appointed expert panel, the Climate Change Council.

The program has been stymied by the failure to continue to develop a carbon plan, stall work on a carbon pricing system and by diverting funds targeted for reducing energy use into more general projects.

The right is that crazy it has tried to prevent the effects of carbon emissions from coal being taken into consideration when making planning decisions.

From Lisa Cox at the Guardian:

The New South Wales government is considering legislation that could limit the ability for planning authorities to rule out coalmines projects based on the climate change impact of emissions from the coal once it is burned.

It comes after a campaign from the NSW Minerals Council over decisions that have referenced the impact of “scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions” as a reason for either rejecting a mining project entirely or for imposing conditions on it.

For a coalmine, scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions are from the burning of the coal after it is sold into the market, including overseas.

The planning minister, Rob Stokes, said it was “not appropriate for state governments to impose conditions about emissions policies in other countries”.

And everyone is seeing through it.  The relatively conservative Sydney Morning Herald recently printed this editorial:

… in the short term, as both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said over the weekend, the main focus should be on expressing sympathy for people who are directly affected and planning an emergency response. But scientists agree that climate change has caused a long-term increase in extreme bushfire weather and made the fire season longer in many parts of Australia. So it is something we should talk about.

It is not a sign of indifference to the victims of bushfires or political point-scoring to raise the issue of climate change. It is common sense. Without a rational assessment of the causes and trends of bushfires, we will only increase the likelihood of more tragedies in the future.

So if politicians want to reinforce their compassion for the victims of bushfires, they should talk about the link to climate change sooner rather than later. The fire season will last for months.

Liberal governments state and Federal may wish to delay this debate because it adds to the case for stronger emissions-reduction policies. They should not however be allowed to adopt the cynical tactics used by the gun lobby in the US after mass shootings.

Australia should officially confirm that it is in a climate crisis.  And all activists throughout the world need to win this argument now.  Fast.

53 comments on “Learning to win fast ”

  1. Pat 1

    And this….

    "But for the sake of the future, for the sake of our community and the rising generation who will inherit this scorched Earth, one can only hope there will be enough people remaining who retain the common decency to listen, to heed the cries of those in harm’s way, who will now together take decisive and collective action to save our ecosystem and our civilisation from collapse.

    Already there are armchair experts ready with free advice about meeting with disaster. Let it be made perfectly clear that all the area that burned has already been a fire ground for two months. There were hazard reduction and backburns under state authority last month and last year. The properties were all well-prepared and extensively defended. People who have lived with fire risk for decades knew exactly what to do, and they did it. The full expertise and advice of fire controllers has been heeded at every turn.

    I’ll put my 20-year Rural Fire Service medal up against your free advice any day of the week."

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/11/weve-been-in-bushfire-hell-in-glen-innes-and-the-scientists-knew-it-was-coming

    Yet both the denying NSW State and Federal govs were (re) elected this year

  2. Ad 2

    There is no way the Greens are going to win by ambulance-chasing. And they are never going to change Scott Morrison's mind. My advice to them would be to keep their heads down until the body count is in.

    Mickey you had a good slam of the formation of a new green-only political party yesterday. The Australian bush fire situation shows why that is misguided. Pure policy arguments have not worked – other than in a very few countries.

    The Australian government will listen to business more than any other sector. The activists who work with business as going to be the ones who amplify this noise the right way.

    It's the National Party of Australia – the ones who protect the interests of the regions – who would be the most successful to work on internally. They are the most vulnerable to climate change shifts.

    The way to engage into the National Party is to stop talking about "climate change". Ban the phrase.

    Instead, talk about policies for:

    – drought responses eg the limits of Murray-Darling irrigation. Maybe it means the banning of high-water-use agriculture in some parts of Australia eg dairy

    – rural depopulation and support when families move to the cities. Some many call it 'managed retreat', others call it a new life.

    – shifting whole small communities out of harms' way – and massive public compensation to do so. Better to walk off arm in arm with the state, than have more male suicides.

    – active fire management including fire barriers around cities – guided in particular by insurance companies

    – soil strength and retention programmes in vulnerable areas

    You can't mention coal, or gas, or mining in general. It won them the election.

    • weka 2.1

      What's the goal with that strategy Ad? Because it looks like a suggestion for Labour to abandon climate mitigation and focus on adaptation so it can gain political power.

      If Labour did that, the left would turn on them. XR, SS4C are escalating anyway and that's not going to go away, Labour would look like fools, at home and internationally. How would they engage with the protests? Support legal methods to shut them down as the right are intent on doing?

      "And they are never going to change Scott Morrison's mind."

      I completely agree. The point isn't to change Morrison's mind, it's to change people's mind. Let's see how that's going by 2022, the climate debate is going to change hugely in that time. Hell, in Oz it may change by the end of the summer.

      NZ has a Zero Carbon Bill not because of business but because of activists (NGO, political party, on the street). The shift isn't needed in the most conservative people, it's needed in the people who've been hoping the whole thing would go away and are now realising that it won't, and that not only will this affect their grandkids it will probably affect them directly now too.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        Scott Morrison's mind needs changing because he is the centre of political power in Australia. The debate in New Zealand is won.

        So far is it not won in Australia. Trying to capitalise on bush fires is the complete wrong way to win anyone's hearts and minds, let alone Scott Morrison's.

        At a Federal level and in the NSW state level, what Labor does or thinks is completely meaningless.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          The debate in NZ is largely won (the first bit at least) precisely because people kept talking about climate change. National became irrelevant in the face of large public need to take CC seriously, it wasn't necessary to change their minds even in the Key years (you can't change their minds either talking about CC or not). Is there a reason that can't happen in Australia or NSW?

          You didn't answer the question about what is the goal of your strategy. Is it to get Labor power?

          There's a fine line between trying to capitalise politically from disasters, and the need to act urgently politically because conventional ways aren't working. I don't have a good sense of where that line is in Australia this week, but my points above weren't really about that, they were in response to your suggestions. Did I misunderstand, were you meaning this should be Labor's strategy *this week, and then go back to talking about CC?

          • Hanswurst 2.1.1.1.1

            Your wasting your breath. Ad's solution to everything is to adopt a slightly more progressive version of whatever those in power are doing, and then cleverly beat them at their own game by… sorry, what was the objective again?

            • Ad 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The goal is to alter federal and local government actions and policies, while they are in power.

          • Ad 2.1.1.1.2

            The reason that same public rise can't happen in Australia as it has in New Zealand is because their economy is based in no small part on mining, which has the capital to form its own political parties and otherwise indirectly lobby with maximum effect against the climate change movement. They are so effective at this, that since PM Abbot, they effectively rule Australia.

            The goal of the strategy is to alter those who are in power. Labor stood for election this year and got trounced. So it's the Coalition the public have to deal with. Labor's "strategy" is totally immaterial to what is happening in Australia for this entire electoral term.

            Same for NSW government. The new lot specifically removed bunches of climate change mitigation policies.

            Deal with who is in power.

            • weka 2.1.1.1.2.1

              If Labor stop talking about CC, get to form government, how would they then be able to start talking about CC again?

              Eventually all countries will face the dilemma of maintaining lifestyles vs climate mitigation. Once things get intense enough even Australia will change. I don't think Australia will play out like NZ did, but physics is physics, and all humans are driven by fear when in danger. At the moment fear of loss of jobs is stronger, but I don't think that will remain so.

              • Ad

                I really don't mind what Labor does in this electoral term about climate change.

                I used to be able to squint and see China transitioning away from coal fast enough to worry them. Now, they are just addicted by coal to India for the foreseeable future.

                Because climate change has felled more prime ministers and governments in Australia in the last decade than anywhere else in the world, Australia will be one of the very last countries in the world to change their view on climate change.

                • Poission

                  And then there is the science bit.

                  "Historically we've made the connection between a breakdown or a warming of the vortex in late winter and subsequent increases in fire weather in central NSW and central Queensland in the following spring," Dr Hendon said.

                  "So there's a historical relationship between the two, and of course we think the connection is through the promotion of negative SAM.

                  "Negative SAM results in drier conditions and warmer conditions which are both conducive to more fires."

                  ie expectations for an elevated fire season were almost obvious.

                  https://twitter.com/rms5539/status/1193940669783564289

    • AB 2.2

      All these supporting actions would be done as part of a 'just transition' to a sustainable future. Problem is that conservatives want the support, but without the transition. Or put another way, they want ongoing subsidies for BAU,

      You are right though about the foolishness of shroud-waving at a time like this. Conservatives are prone to being cry-baby snowflakes who make much of their belief in 'personal responsibility' but seldom demonstrate it themselves. They get very angry and upset if uncomfortable facts are pointed out, and we should respect their feelings, even though they would probably sneer at ours if the situation was reversed.

  3. Ad 3

    This is the kind of policy we should expect to see more of – who knows after the Middlemarch Fire maybe we could learn something from the Australians.

    The Australian government through the Department of Agriculture is preparing to launch a Future Drought Fund worth AU$3.9 billion. Projects and activities valued to AU$100 million each will enhance the drought resistance of farms and communities. It rolls out in July 2020.

    https://haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/future-drought-fund

    Also the website http://www.mdba.gov.au is worth looking at for their forecasts on near-future reservoir drawdown in the coming months.

  4. C'mon, people, let's get real! The bushfires are the fault of the Greens, who actually control the Australian government from a yurt just outside Canberra.

  5. Stuart Munro. 5

    The fires just have to get hot enough to scorch the religious conservatives into remembering it's supposed to be the fire next time.

    Further depopulating rural areas just means reducing their capacity to come up with sustainable long term responses.

    Oz should build a green wall on the west coast and solar pump a rebuilt hydrography until they reach the other side. Don't see it happening myself – humans en bloc don't seem to be much smarter than fruit flies.

    • weka 5.1

      or use their homegrown sustainability design system, permaculture.

      But even the best sustainable design can't adapt around runaway climate change. The whole world needs Australia to mitigate, and Australia needs this too.

      • Stuart Munro. 5.1.1

        Local permaculture won't stop a bushfire – they need to scale up – create a rain shadow that will reverse the expansion of the fire seasons. They'll work out that's desirable in 50-100 years. Maybe.

        NZ should jog their elbow a bit too – their drought shadow is no good to us.

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          there's no reason to not use permaculture at large scale. That's the point of the design system, it's based on principles that can be used in any situation. What would you use for creating a rain shadow if not sustainable design?

          It's still going to be up against it if we move from what we have now to runaway CC (assuming we're not already there).

          • Stuart Munro. 5.1.1.1.1

            Permaculture tends to be built around retention of existing limited water resources. The kind of continental engineering Oz requires is one that precipitates excess moisture outside its locality. Permaculture will be relevant to extending a forested zone, but on its own will not suffice to mitigate rising fire risk.

            • weka 5.1.1.1.1.1

              what are you suggesting in engineering terms?

              • Stuart Munro.

                A network of solar pumped water backboning a forest expansion. Solar desalinated water, because membrane desalinated contains too much salt and creates a brine pollution issue. Faster than a permaculture alone reforestation, and supporting a wetter, less flammable forest that throws a larger rain shadow. As canopies close water demands decline, so that water fed to the expanding edge is not an infinite demand.

  6. Obtrectator 6

    " … in the short term, as both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said over the weekend, the main focus should be on expressing sympathy for people who are directly affected and planning an emergency response. But scientists agree that climate change has caused a long-term increase in extreme bushfire weather and made the fire season longer in many parts of Australia. So it is something we should talk about."

    Helping those affected by the latest bush fires is treating the symptoms. Provides immediate relief, but doesn't do anything about the underlying cause of those symptoms, i.e. climate change. Sooner or later you've got to deal to that cause too, or the patient (i.e. the planet) is never going to get well. Both approaches have their place, but you ignore (or deny) the need for that second one at your peril.

  7. tc 7

    "Australia should officially confirm that it is in a climate crisis…." Not happening under scomo who ignored advice, cut fire fighting funds and has his acolytes bashing anyone suggesting CC as an urgent issue.

    it’s what Rupert and industry wants, business as usual for the frogs.

  8. mosa 8

    2050 is when our net to zero carbon bill would have taken effect.

    Climate change won't wait that long for us too cut our methane emissions 25-50 %

    Its like having an incurable disease , ignoring its effects and carrying on as normal.

    The planets death warrant was signed a long time ago , we are just going through the farce of pretending its all just an illusion.

    • tc 8.1

      Sadly that's the conclusion the science has been reaching. They aren't going quietly either.

      They continue to pop their heads above those funded parapet's as they feel there's no other choice now probably.
      They can join the fire fighters in a chorus that Oz pollys will continue to ignore.

  9. Adrian Thornton 9

    A repost from the other day…

    The Elephant in the room has become a serious problem.

    The Center Cannot Hold Off Climate Catastrophe

    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-center-cannot-hold-off-climate-catastrophe/

  10. soddenleaf 10

    Humans adapt. Climate change won't kill us all. As the world heats, humidity rises leading to more rain over oz, not less. Climate change is a problem for a whole bunch of reasons, agricultural risks, sea level risks, disease risks, storms etc. All are better dealt with by not occurring. But your average rural conservative is not going to dig a big hole to put their valuables in, build their homes fire resistant, or colkapseable, or build a giant tank of water to dispense when the fire front hits, as then they might just wonder at the cost and vote for someone to not force them to invest their own hard earth. As we all know the market will save them due to the interplay of rational economic actors blah blah. This is just listening to neolibs creates both the storm and failure to meet it sustainably, reap your own lazy stupidity karma.

    • WeTheBleeple 10.1

      "As the world heats, humidity rises leading to more rain over oz, not less"

      Would help if you knew what you are talking about before blathering on. More water in the atmosphere via increased temperatures leads to more flooding, and higher temps leads to rain events being less frequent as temperature decides when rain falls not volume. Drought followed by deluge is now the pattern. Last flood last year in Queensland was catastrophic. It followed prolonged drought. this is the new 'pattern'.

      • greywarshark 10.1.1

        It’s a good listen hearing Peter Andrews Oz – he is a farmer there who has all his life been on the land. He says he was triggered by having a flock of 3000 sheep almost smothered by a dust storm he realised that things had to be done differently.

      • soddenleaf 10.1.2

        More water in floods, means because less frequent rain events, that I said more rain is wrong. No. or, you mean that the intervals between rain events would increase, how exactly? The dry periods would last long and then a huge downpour. Sorry, no again. Since we know that more water means more vegatation, means changed micro climates, trapped moisture, local rainforest type rains too. The whole contingent did this before, when a thicker atmosphere,higher humidity greens the desert. Sure for the next decade of forced climate change caused by digging up hydrocarbons and entering them into our biosphere we would temporarily not see the new habitat as it takes time for Greenland and Antarctica to release water, but it's coming.

        And anyway my main point, trap the water, dig big holes, them pump it out when the fire storm hits. Sure it's costly, but thars what neolibs mean when they sit on their hands and say the market will provide. They create the damage, and wait for their own voters to think it's a favor keeping govt from acting, only to find it means they have to make individual expense mitigation efforts and had they done the sums, the better answer was not blowing the fossil fuel gift all at once. The simple fact is the neolib want higher taxes and more govt, higher private costs are a tax, tax often creamed on top with private profits, and big govt is the necessary eventual solution, bigger because the damage is so much greater.

        Australia is going to be a bread basket in 50 years time.

        • greywarshark 10.1.2.1

          There is low humidity in Oz where the fires are, that and high temps, and fairly strong winds, plus drought are fingered as the terrible trio causing problems. And another terrible and lasting toxic effect, spraying with firefighting foam to preserve built areas that might burn started by flying embers. Sydney areas are now covered in pink. How long for that to break down, and into what?

          Where is the high humidity going to come from? Where does it go to when its wanted? If weather is going to kill off vegetation, how can they get established, so that high humidity will result? Chicken and egg isn't it?

        • WeTheBleeple 10.1.2.2

          There is not more rain as you allude to. Aussie is enduring a severe long term drought. That rain that does fall is largely lost as it is all at once so despite increased volumes in the air it comes as a destructive – not constructive force when it finally falls. We see similar here, with large impervious surfaces replacing once-were-forests and drought following flood. We're just blessed to be surrounded by coast mitigating the loss of trees somewhat. But trees catalyse rain, and we are paying for the breakdown of typical weather.

          You are making up how rain cycles work, guess work and wishful thinking. The planet is becoming desert, bit by bit. Even here, surrounded by mitigating coast, droughts followed by floods. Big holes to store water? – we already have aquifers. Huge, already there, but depleting faster than they're replenishing. Slowing/trapping water above ground will help replenishes these systems. Above ground storage is however prone to evaporation and spendy to set up unless you listen to the experts who're already doing it, not dream up some new idea we've had too many daft uneducated guesses to last us. Tanks are nothing, a blip, compared to an entire landscape that actually holds water. But the landscapes are not working now, broken by know-alls and their chainsaws. As it stands, it rains and mostly goes back to the ocean. The trees that catalyse rain (via microbes in warm air uplifted via forests redirecting wind) are vanishing, and rainfall drops after this occurs, it does not increase.

          All our engineering solutions will fall aside as disasters continue to suck the funds out of countries – and money, like the rain, dries up.

          • soddenleaf 10.1.2.2.1

            The planet is becoming a desert. As sea levels rise, the atmosphere traps more heat, that heating evaporates more water into the atmosphere, leading to more storms lifting he st out into space, and depositing the moisture as rain. You see the contradiction. Also I never said Aussie would have continued droughts, or they wouldnt get worse, I said that eventually when we stop forcing the global climate by diggingup fossil fuels and burning them, that the new climatic patterns would see more rain over Australia, duh, since the world would be hotter.

            As to getting a digger and burying the homestead, digging huge holes to capture water that then is absorbed by the soil, such measures requires investment, and is costly to keep a digger around for the next fire, but if rural homes steaders were to, they might also see the merits in stopping the pollution to start with. As voting for the parties of more polluting obviously to lower their taxes only increase the private tax collector, mother nature.

  11. Sabine 11

    Well people voted for this, so there is always that.

  12. Exkiwiforces 12

    You now when things are getting bad, when the Hippies of Nimbin NSW start blaming the Greenies and Greenie base IMG's as there has been a lack of winter burn offs due to protests from individuals and IMG's.

    We are forgetting since the Black fella first ever turned up in Australia they have been using fire for various things and overtime the environment has adapted, but we white fella's of late have forgetting our history and learning from the past from the local Black fella as us White fella's are now paying for our own stupidly etc etc.

    If these burn off don't on a regular basis as it did during before the white fella turned up, the fuel loading slowly goes up to point when it does far greater environmental damage because the heat of the fire actually destroys the soil microbes below the surface up to 40cm or greater depend in the fire. This then delays any regrowth up to anywhere of 5 to 15yrs. Believe me I've seen the damage done when these types of fires happen and goes back over it when there has been a lack of rain from last yrs Wet Season. The place looks like its been fire bomb or a Nuke has been dropped on the place.

    This is even before we start about talking CC effects ie, CSRIO (the old DSIR in NZ) and together with the weather boffins from BOM have worked out that Australia's temp since 1910 to the present has risen over 1deg which does sound very much but when you start including other variables such as drought, low rain fall, the lack or the complete lack of burns offs and other CC effects, it then all starts to add up and eventually the law of averages will coming in to play in one way or another.

    It aren't pretty folks if you are at the sharp end like I face on the Battle of Britain Weekend (BoB day is Sept 15) of September 14 and the following 2wks here in the Northern Fire Protecting Zone in the NT.

    I have some pic's and a video of that with some lessons learnt from the 3 major fires in the Darwin rural area I could post?

    • WeTheBleeple 12.1

      Utter bullshit. The first paragraph of your comment should get a ban for spreading lies. TS needs to raise its game or its just another bunch of pratts talking shite.

      https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/12/is-there-really-a-green-conspiracy-to-stop-bushfire-hazard-reduction

    • greywarshark 12.2

      Exkiwi I know what has been said in the past, what used to be the pattern. But that was then, the climate, the land is differently used now. And we have to be careful about quoting old ways for now, but still look at what used to happen and why, and how we could behave now for a similar good result.

      • Exkiwiforces 12.2.1

        Fire has always been use a control measure to reduce the fuel and as a control measure to contain the from spreading. Until there is a full debrief or another Royal Commission at State or Federal level, we probably won't really know how fires could've been prevented from getting out of had very quickly.

        One of the debrief points of the 3 Major Fires that happen over the BoB weekend 14-17 and throughout the following week in the Northern Fire Protecting Zone which comes under Bushfires NT was-

        Do we need to do more burn offs after the Wet? But what happens when we have a poor or below average Wet Season, do we still burn off as we have some knowledge of CC effects?

        Is Backburning during fires still a valid method to control fires now when we are see 5-9 deg's above average temps during the dry and record low humidity in single to low teens which creates the ideal condition for the prefect fire? The greater Darwin region atm is already experiencing 5-6 deg's above average for Nov and Katherine/ RAAF Base Tindal is 7-9 deg's above average for Nov aka the temps are in the low 40's which is unheard off.

        Worst case for us atm if the weather trend keeps going up is we could be fighting fires all yr round in the Northern top end and that brings a whole lot of other questions such as-

        Manpower, the average age in Bushfires NT is 65 and I'm the youngest in my unit at 46 and the other unit we work with are doing a wee bit better than us as their youngest is 40

        Equipment, 90% of Fire Units are second hand me downs and the average age of units 38yrs with most Fires Units are reaching or becoming BER

        80% of all Bushfires NT are unpaid volunteers who on average are pulling over a 125hrs a week per fire call out. The fire in Sept I almost nudge 150hrs weeks drive the Tanker by myself and if had my Medium Attack Truck which I usually have is meant to be maned with 3 others including me, but is maned by myself and its like being back in my old Tankie days in the NZ Army. fighting fires, driving the truck, supporting the grass fire attack units when possible and listening to the radio all at the same time.

        This was Friday afternoon just after lunch on the 14 Sept at our main residence in the Darwin rural area.

        https://flic.kr/p/2hJD8B3

        This was taken by the wife as she drove into the driveway, at this stage the Fire Front was only about 800m to 1000m or two streets over from us, but we were very lucky as the wind change about 15mins later and if it hadn't the next stop line would've been Stuart Highway about two km's behind and the Arnhem Highway about 3km's to the right of the Pic.

        https://flic.kr/p/2hJwpRR

        I haven’t posted up the ones from our bush estate yet and that was very untidy and a little bit to close to home both of us.

  13. Karol121 13

    An old rule (not always practical or adhered to), is that when addressing a problem, one needs to determine the cause and effect in order to have any hope to prevent further occurence.

    When a cause has not been proven or absolutely determined, or where the root cause cannot immediately be addressed, mitigate by way of real or actual risk/threat minimization, not culpability style words nor counter arguments in order to mind minimize the extent of the problem.

    Irrespective of just who or what is the root cause, or whether this is just nature doing what comes naturally, effective response to whatever outbreaks occur and more effective management of living spaces (including re-positioning ahead of time) currently seems to be the first priority.

    By the way. Net population growth in relation to humans on the planet:

    Current estimate is about 10,000 an hour, and we have to put them somewhere as well as needing to provide for their living and waste needs.

    Maybe 125 NZ politicians have a solution to this, but I just don't know.

    Is there any responsibility that we can take?

    We excelled in relation to the design and colour of the NZ flag some time back.

    I am sure that we could excel in relation to a pro-active approach on climate change MANAGEMENT too.

  14. Jackel 14

    "find a way to win fast", are you aware of what you just said? I'm as f***ed off at the tories smugness on this issue as anyone, but seriously the best we can do is keep plugging away at raising public awareness, urgency and action on climate change with whatever means available. This could create a snowballing effect.

  15. george.com 15

    'This year the bush fires are worse than ever, but it is only a natural events and not linked to climate change'.

    When next year and the year after that and the year after that, as the bush fires continue to get worse and worse, just continue to tell yourself the same thing.

  16. Sabine 16

    oh well a little more money will fix it, right?

    https://www.pedestrian.tv/news/scott-morrison-climate-change/

    Does this “climate solutions fund” involve cutting back on coal production and making real, meaningful and most importantly structural efforts to reduce emissions? Haha fuck nah it doesn’t. As per the Sydney Morning Herald:

    The revamped direct action initiative, to be rebadged as the Climate Solutions Fund, will include public money for “on country” Indigenous Australians to prevent bushfires, small businesses wanting to reduce energy bills through new technology and farmers seeking to revegetate degraded land and drought proof their farms.

    Morrison says that the point of the policy is to approach climate change with “cool heads, not just impassioned hearts,” and that Australia is still very much on track to reduce carbon emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030. It’s pretty complex and circuitous math which leads him to that promise, given that the government’s own numbers suggest emissions have been rising since the carbon price was dumped in 2013.

    oh well. Maybe the solution to better government is a saner voting public.

  17. Karol121 17

    I gather that Morrison is wisely choosing not to become embroiled in a political s**t fight on climate change right at this moment.

    This is currently a matter with of dealing with an immediate crisis in front of one's nose as any governance and management minded leader worth his/her weight must first do.

    Barnaby Jones is probably now seriously regretting his (as reported) rather cruel, off the cuff remark suggesting that two deceased victims of this event probably voted Green.

    His (Jones's) blunder can be every other Australian federal, state and territory representative's wise warning not to politicize tragedy, more especially in times of crisis.

  18. coge 18

    In May 2019 Bill Shorten stated, "This election is all about climate change"

    Quite clearly the ALP campaign hadn't done enough to inform the public of the absolute certainty of the coming vast climate apocalypse. There is no doubt they need to double down hard in their attempts to educate the public in this urgent matter.

  19. newsense 19

    Time to eliminate anyone connected with the coal industry from using NZ as a life boat? Part of our zero carbon act

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  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
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    9 hours ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
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  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
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  • Major health and safety consultation begins
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  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
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  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
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  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
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    16 hours ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
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    1 day ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
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    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
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  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
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  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
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  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
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  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
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  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
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  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
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    1 day ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
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    2 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
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    3 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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