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How do we deal with bushfires in a warming climate?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by basilio, Nov 16, 2019.

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  1. basilio

    basilio

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    The suggestion was made about starting a separate thread focusing on bushfires and in particular how we deal with heightened risk and consequences as a result of global warming.

    I'm posting a few articles that explore this issue as a starter.

    This is Not Normal’: Climate change and escalating bushfire risk

    1.Key Findings1.The catastrophic, unprecedented fire conditions currently affecting NSW and Queensland have been aggravated by climate change. Bushfire risk was exacerbated by record breaking drought, very dry fuels and soils, and record-breakingheat.

    2.Bushfire conditions are now more dangerous than in the past. The risks to people and property have increased and fire seasons have lengthened. It is becoming more dangerous to fight fires in Australia.

    3.The fire season has lengthened so substantially that it has already reduced opportunities for fuel reduction burning. This means it is harder to prepare for worsening conditions.

    4.The costs of fighting fires are increasing. Australia relies on resource sharing arrangements between countries and states and territories within Australia. As seasons overlap and fires become more destructive, governments will be increasingly constrained in their ability to share resources and the costs of tackling fires will increase.

    5.The government must develop an urgent plan to (1) prepare Australian communities, health and emergency services for escalating fire danger; and (2) rapidly phase out the burning of coal oil and gas which is driving more dangerous fires.

    https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/bushfire-briefing-paper/
     
  2. basilio

    basilio

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    This article sums up the political issues.

    The catastrophic bushfire season is an opportunity for leadership — if only someone would seize it
    7.30
    By Laura Tingle
    Updated about 2 hours ago

    Photo: This current fire season is an opportunity of a lifetime for our leaders, for all its catastrophic costs, if only they would seize it. (AAP: Lukas Coch)

    Related Story: The three factors that demand Scott Morrison rethink his approach to climate change
    Related Story: 'Inner-city raving lunatics': Deputy PM's bushfire comments prompt rebuke from mayors
    Related Story: Former fire chiefs 'tried to warn PM ' to bring in more water-bombers ahead of bushfire season
    Related Story: The inflammometer has hit 11, but politicians aren't finished yet
    It has been a week of catastrophe in Australia.

    For so many people, and so many communities, there have been days and nights of sleeplessness, exhausting anxiety, and fear of monstrous firestorms; and for some, the destruction they have caused.

    And now the oppressive knowledge that it is likely that this could go on for months.

    It has also been a week of catastrophic failure of our political dialogue. It's easy to just express exasperation at the sniping of some of the statements made by politicians this week as they have tried to fight a culture war about climate change in the midst of such disastrous scenes.

    But there is actually something much more alarming going on here. If our political conversation really is at a point when these cultural weapons can't be downed in the face of a crisis, we really are in a lot of trouble.

    The widespread acknowledgement that this current fire season is something out of the ordinary, that it has no end in sight, and that in some cases there may not even be enough water to fight fires, is an opportunity of a lifetime for our leaders, for all its catastrophic costs, if only they weren't too thick, or too incapable, to seize it.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11...son-is-an-opportunity-for-leadership/11708632

     
  3. qldfrog

    qldfrog

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    My suggestion Basilio, was more a focus on the economic impact of this wave of bushfires and expected consequences, not one where we are led to believe buying a prius will sort anything, and blaming this wave to Adani
    There is room for adaptation (as you know, i believe in climate change with some originating from human activity, or at least human amplifying to a degree and adaptation is required, human caused or not)
    And this is an interesting thread on its own
    I tried to start a new thread but could not from my mobile, will start tonight from laptop
     
  4. basilio

    basilio

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    Why not use this thread ? The economic impact of bushfires would certainly be an important part of dealing with it.

    The conversation is around two elements
    1) How we adapt/cope with the heightened risks caused by current temperature increase
    2) How e attempt to reduce future temperature increases by tackling global warming.

    If we are clever we can use adaptation activities which also reduce GG emissions ie establishing fire strengthened community facilities for protection from bushfires which have their own solar power and battery banks to ensure viability in extreme situations. (And of course the solar power and battery banks are used 24/7 in non bushfire times)
     
  5. SirRumpole

    SirRumpole

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    To achieve any change in climate is going to take decades, but it has to be done.

    Meantime we have to listen to people on the ground and give them more resources including the Armed Services if necessary.

    Surely a few C-130's could be temporarily turned into water bombing aircraft, likewise a few helicopters.
     
    qldfrog likes this.
  6. wayneL

    wayneL Rotaredom

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    A significant portion of the problem is obviously pyromania / fire starting activism. This is actually a public mental health issue with ramifications mentioned in OP.

    I really have no idea how as a society we could address that, but the current response is obviously ineffective.
     
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  7. Smurf1976

    Smurf1976

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    Fires fall into three categories basically:

    1. Arson

    2. Stupid actions where fire was a foreseeable consequence but not intended as such. Lit cigarettes thrown out of cars, campfires being lit in silly places or left unattended, grinding whilst surrounded by long dry grass and so on. Anyone with any sense should have foreseen the danger but there was no malicious intent, just stupidity.

    3. Genuine accidents and natural occurrences. Cars or machinery unexpectedly catches fire, lightning strikes and so on.

    The first two are completely avoidable and between them accout for a large portion of serious fires to my understanding.
     
  8. qldfrog

    qldfrog

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    It is fair to see that part as pretty arguable, even if we acting is actually the whole of mankind, but 100% agree with the rest of the post @SirRumpole
     
  9. SirRumpole

    SirRumpole

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    Lecturing people obviously doesn't work, so it has to be severe penalties I'm afraid. Gaol for a long time coupled with long periods of community service, in chains if necessary.
     
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  10. wayneL

    wayneL Rotaredom

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    I just don't know if that's the best response, but it's the best response I can think of. Agree there.
     
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  11. Macquack

    Macquack

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    My 75 acre property in Northern NSW is still smoldering a week after the fires came through. Every inch of undergrowth has burned. Hundreds of trees came down and are still falling down in the wind. House was saved thanks to to efforts of Fire and Rescue and the Rural Fire Service. Also like to thank the local council for their stringent building code in particular the 45 metre asset protection zone. Getting water bombed over 30 times by two different helicopters is something that I won't forget.

    Lucky for me, the conditions were very cool, probably high humidity and very low winds otherwise it could have been much worse. I do fear for the people that will be unlucky and get the worst of all conditions of dry fuel, high temperature, low humidity and high winds all at the same time.
     
    Miss Hale, qldfrog, IFocus and 7 others like this.
  12. SirRumpole

    SirRumpole

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    Glad you made it through MacQuack, here in CW NSW we are crossing our fingers that the fires don't come here. It's more pastureland here and will be grass fires that do the damage, everything is so dry it will just go up in a flash.
     
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  13. chiff

    chiff

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    We had a new roof put on about ten years ago ,and part of the code is that it has be completely sealed against embers etc.Sounds like you got some good treatment.We do not appreciate RFS CFA CFS till we need them.
     
  14. basilio

    basilio

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  15. basilio

    basilio

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    How bad/unprecedented are the bushfires in Australia ?
    What are the implications looking ahead ?
    Check this out - particularly if you live in the bush.

    Australia bushfires factcheck: are this year's fires unprecedented?
    Conservative commentators have pointed to a long history of bushfires to suggest there is nothing unusual about this season. Experts (people who actually know something about the topic..ed) disagree

    https://www.theguardian.com/austral...-factcheck-are-this-years-fires-unprecedented
     
  16. basilio

    basilio

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    Excellent graphic picture of the extent of bushfires in Queensland and NSW to 21st November
    It doesn't include the massive fires currently burning in the Central Coat region.

    This is early December.
    How Australia's bushfires spread: mapping the NSW and Queensland fires
    One way to visualise the devastating extent of the fires is by using satellite data from Nasa’s hotspot detection program

    .... However, it is hard to grasp the geographic scale and speed with which the fires spread. For example, there are at least two current fire grounds west of Port Macquarie that are both over 100,000 hectares (250,000 acres) in size, and at least 1m hectares have been burnt in northern New South Wales this year so far.

    One way to visualise the extent and spread of the fires is by using satellite data – in particular, Nasa operates a hotspot detection program which identifies fires on a daily basis.

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/da...s-spread-mapping-the-nsw-and-queensland-fires
     
  17. basilio

    basilio

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    How much leadership should the Federal Government be showing in the current bushfire crisis ? Malcolm Turnball believes far more than currently on offer.

    'National security issue': Turnbull tells Q&A Morrison must step up response to bushfire crisis
    ‘This is an issue that needs leadership,’ Malcolm Turnbull tells ABC panel show

    Malcolm Turnbull has called on Scott Morrison to step up his response to catastrophic bushfires fuelled by climate change, declaring that emergency management in Australia needs to be restructured because the threat is now a “national security issue”.
    ...When Australians’ lives are at risk, when they are being threatened, when their families and their homes and their crops and properties and everything they hold dear is being put at threat – that’s a national security issue,” Turnbull said on Monday night.

    “If it isn’t a national security issue, what is? The national government has to provide leadership. Obviously the federal government can’t do everything but the federal government’s job is to lead and this is an issue that needs leadership.”

    ... Turnbull on Tuesday will address an energy conference in Sydney, and is expected to argue that southern Australia will face more heatwaves, fires, floods and droughts in the coming decades, with “a huge impact on our water and food security, ecosystems, transport, health and tourism”.

    “We in Australia, more than many if not most countries, are facing the actual lived experience of climate change, and yet the debate, particularly in Australia, is stuck – with many, particularly on the right of politics and the rightwing political media, refusing to acknowledge the science, instead stubbornly – and blindly – holding to their political positions.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/austral...ison-must-step-up-response-to-bushfire-crisis
     
  18. basilio

    basilio

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    xxx
     
  19. macca

    macca

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    Malcolm seems to be suffering from lack of media attention.

    Malcolm was an awful politician and knows even less about bush fires.

    He is an intelligent person within his own fields, if he wants to be in the spotlight again he could design a curriculum to teach children how to manage money
     
    sptrawler likes this.
  20. qldfrog

    qldfrog

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    I would agree on one point, we should have a federal fire army, a green corp with proper hardware
    Fire bombing equipment, trucks dozers and maybe these guys could be used during winter months to build fire breaks around NP and handle burn off
    NP by design are unpopulated areas the few local RFBs and rangers are so underwhelmed it is not funny yet they have more work to do there than in more agricultural areas.it can not work.it does not
     
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