Tuesday, January 08, 2013
h/t Andy Scrase
It’s nothing to do with the climate.
WHEN Julia Gillard toured fire ravaged parts of Tasmania on Monday she couldn’t resist opportunism – using the calamity to push a climate change agenda.
“As a result of climate change we are going to see more extreme weather events,” she said.
But the fact is Australia gets hot in summer – sometimes very hot – and if there is fuel on the ground it will burn. The more fuel, the wilder the fire.
Greens are environmentally disconnected
Green activists are mostly city dwellers with little understanding of the natural environment — regardless of how much they talk about it. How else could they put so much bush ecosystem, human property and human life at risk? Why did they go out of their way to meddle with well-tested systems of fire management that were working? Why do we listen to them?
Greens conveniently blame climate change. They pretend imposing a carbon tax or destroying the coal industry will prevent bushfires, while reducing the actual fuel which powers the flames is “futile”.
Despite the lessons which should have been learned in Victoria in 2009, the fuel in Tasmania’s forests has been allowed to build up because of Green opposition to fuel reduction burns, which they call “outdated, old school” and a “horrible blight”.
Green activists disdain expert advice
“If I pulled my hair out any more I wouldn’t have any,” laments Phil Cheney, Australia’s foremost expert on bushfire behaviour, now retired from the CSIRO.
Cheney says to manage fire you need a scientifically prescribed regimen of strategic light burns in cooler months.
That will reduce fuel loads which in turn reduces the power and intensity of bushfires. Cheney’s submission to the Victorian bushfires royal commission advocated strategic burning of 10 per cent of public land annually. The commission recommended an “annual rolling target of 5 per cent minimum of public land” – better than nothing.
Green victory – hope they’re proud
The Greens could reconsider their strategy on protection from bushfires, but they’ve had three years since the disastrous fires in Victoria and they’ve changed nothing.
It’s been a complete victory for the Greens. Last year’s Tasmanian forestry “peace deal” was effectively their final triumph, and leaves in doubt the future of 200,000 ha of plantation timber, most of which was owned by Gunns, which used to manage fire and pests in the forests.
Ironically, as timber families are forced out of work, their bulldozers and excavators, which are so crucial to building firebreaks to contain and control bushfire, are being repossessed or sold – and Forestry Tasmania has none of its own.
“You can fly around all you like in these helicopters, which lay a drop (of water) and go away,” says Cheney. “But after a point, a bulldozer is about the only effective way to contain fires.”
Mistaken doctrine kills trees, houses, people
The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
In the end, the Tasmanian bushfires are a metaphor for the Green philosophy.
Misguided virtue, carried out with ruthless disregard for fairness, property rights or human consequences, leads to a totalitarian mindset in which the original goals are abandoned. Saving trees? Nah. More trees and wombats have been destroyed in the past week in Tasmania than ever were turned into floorboards for Tokyo.
It was all about destroying Gunns, and seizing political power. Well, congratulations Tasmania. Your Greens have delivered blackened graveyards where proud forests once stood.
Victoria and now Tasmania have tried the Greens’ poisonous pudding. They have gained nothing and lost parks, property and people.
They should discard the Greens’ madly mistaken doctrine and replace it with good Aussie sense.