Bushfires in Australia

Applying the Dharma for the preservation of planet Earth and its inhabitants
User avatar
fwiw
Posts: 1172
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:06 pm

Bushfires in Australia

Post by fwiw » Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:32 pm

I see mentions of them by a lot of people on social media, so I imagine it's all over the news as well (I wouldn't know). My question is to our fellow Australians who participate here, in all the diversities of their opinions, if they care to answer.

Do you think the fires are as dramatic as they are made sound to be?

Does it affect mentalities? And if so, in which way?

Thank you
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Posts: 1368
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:09 pm

Hi, fwiw,
In case you missed my post post on another thread - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=104&start=140#p11299

The fires are huge - unprecedented, catastrophic, appalling.
Our news bulletins relegate trivialities like Trump to their last couple of minutes and spend the rest of the time on lives and houses lost, evacuations, weather.
The fires are in a huge arc between our two biggest cities and have therefore directly affected perhaps half of all Australians by way of smoke inhalation, if nothing else, but many more of us are affected at second hand - we have relatives in the area, or we used to live there or holiday there. There's a lot of anger and even more sadness.
Our Prime Minister has been useless until being kicked - very hard - by public opinion and media. The only thing that might save him is that the next couple of blokes in line for his job are likely to be even worse. Some people have put up a petition for parliament to be dissolved so we can have an early election.
Damage estimates are very fuzzy at this point but run into many millions, perhaps billions, in economic losses. A figure of half a billion wildlife deaths has been floating around but no-one really knows.
A small silver lining is that an enormous number of people who genuinely doubted climate science, or thought that climate change would not be a big problem anytime soon, have realised that it's real and it's here now. They are acting and demanding action.

And the bad news is that we're still in early summer.
Of a year in which the global warming is just over 1 degree.

:meditate:
Kim

User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Posts: 1368
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:18 pm

(continuing)
Our national news service has a page of stories "Just In" which is continually updated - https://www.abc.net.au/news/justin/.
It's the one I go to first each day and I have been screenshotting (horrible word, but it will do) groups of consecutive headlines which between them make up a story or topic like so:

Screen Shot 2019-12-16.jpg
Screen Shot 2019-12-16.jpg (146.29 KiB) Viewed 1882 times
ABC News Just In 2020-01-03.jpg
ABC News Just In 2020-01-03.jpg (244.89 KiB) Viewed 1882 times
Screen Shot 2020-01-06.jpg
Screen Shot 2020-01-06.jpg (208.96 KiB) Viewed 1882 times

User avatar
fwiw
Posts: 1172
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:06 pm

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by fwiw » Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:53 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:09 pm
Hi, fwiw,
In case you missed my post post on another thread - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=104&start=140#p11299
Yes, sorry thank you


The fires are huge - unprecedented, catastrophic, appalling.


So it's not just media hype, it's real.


A small silver lining is that an enormous number of people who genuinely doubted climate science, or thought that climate change would not be a big problem anytime soon, have realised that it's real and it's here now. They are acting and demanding action.
It would be interesting to hear from those who participate here. Unfortunately, aversion for cognitive dissonance seems to be working against us.
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

User avatar
SethRich
Posts: 701
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by SethRich » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:01 am

Greetings,

Unprecedented and appalling indeed....

Bushfires: Firebugs fuelling crisis as arson arrest toll hits 183

Police arrested 183 people for lighting bushfires across Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania in the past few months. NSW police data shows 183 people have been charged or cautioned for bushfire-related offences since November 8, and 24 arrested for deliberately starting bushfires.

Queensland police say 101 people have been picked up for setting fires in the bush, 32 adults and 69 juveniles.

In Tasmania, where fires have sprung up in the north of the state and outside Hobart, five were caught setting fire to vegetation. Victoria reported 43 charged for 2019.
These are staggering numbers. I hope they interrogate the hell out of them to identify what their motives are.

I personally believe that anyone found guilty of arson should be held to account for all damages and losses created by the fire(s) they created - including to life, to property, economic damages, emotional distress, and the cost of investigating and addressing the situation.

:candle:
Last edited by SethRich on Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
"He goes to hell, the one who asserts what didn’t take place" (Ud 4.8)
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Transition to greatness" (Donald J. Trump)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

User avatar
fwiw
Posts: 1172
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:06 pm

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by fwiw » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:08 am

I see. It must be the work of evil lefty environmentalists who set the bushes on fire just to make a point that the bushes are prone to devastation via fire.

Bolsonaro has used this trope, accusing L Di Caprio for the Amazon fires, while cracking down on environmentalists who seek to quell the fires and accusing them of starting those fires, throwing them in jail. This happened in a place deep in the Amazon that I have visited quite a few times.
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

User avatar
SethRich
Posts: 701
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by SethRich » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:12 am

Greetings fwiw,
fwiw wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:08 am
I see. It must be the work of evil lefty environmentalists who set the bushes on fire just to make a point that the bushes are prone to devastation via fire.
That's for the police to determine.

However, given the international coverage the fires are getting, what you propose could be regarded as a more successful approach to push their narrative than recent Extinction Rebellion tactics such as gluing yourself to the road, or prancing about the streets like a fairy.

Either way, I think I've made clear what I think should happen to the arsonists, regardless of their views.

:candle:
"He goes to hell, the one who asserts what didn’t take place" (Ud 4.8)
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Transition to greatness" (Donald J. Trump)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

User avatar
fwiw
Posts: 1172
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:06 pm

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by fwiw » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:41 am

SethRich wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:12 am
However, given the international coverage the fires are getting, what you propose could be regarded as a more successful approach to push their narrative than recent Extinction Rebellion tactics such as gluing yourself to the road, or prancing about the streets like a fairy.
People purposefully creating the very catastrophe they seek to prevent makes total sense, thanks for your contribution.
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

User avatar
SethRich
Posts: 701
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by SethRich » Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:00 am

Greetings fwiw,

Eh, it's your theory. But then, we live in a world of Jussie Smolletts so who knows what goes on in people's heads for the sake of a narrative.

:candle:
"He goes to hell, the one who asserts what didn’t take place" (Ud 4.8)
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Transition to greatness" (Donald J. Trump)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Posts: 1368
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by Kim O'Hara » Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:12 am

Reality check ... https://www.fox5ny.com/news/maps-show-a ... ted-states

Oh, and and Piers Morgan just ripped one of our denialist politicians to shreds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kz31yFjXcYI

Can't trust these loony-left media outlets, though, can we?

:popcorn:
Kim

User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Posts: 1368
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by Kim O'Hara » Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:15 am

One sign of the (very strange) times is that people are actually welcoming the idea of a cyclone hitting the north-west coast because of the rain it will bring to the fire-affected interior.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-07/ ... t/11846592

:coffee:
Kim

User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Posts: 1368
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by Kim O'Hara » Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:55 am

Twitter bots and trolls promote conspiracy theories about Australian bushfires

Research from QUT shows that 'some kind of a disinformation campaign' is pushing the Twitter hashtag #ArsonEmergency. There is no arson emergency...
:reading: https://www.zdnet.com/article/twitter-b ... bushfires/

I couldn't possibly comment on this story, could I?

:coffee:
Kim

User avatar
fwiw
Posts: 1172
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:06 pm

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by fwiw » Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:58 pm

SethRich wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:00 am
Greetings fwiw,

Eh, it's your theory. But then, we live in a world of Jussie Smolletts so who knows what goes on in people's heads for the sake of a narrative.

:candle:
Sorry, I may have misunderstood the subtext of your contribution. I assumed it was meant to be relevant to the topic as defined in the OP. As such, I assumed it was aimed at the part of the discussion whether those bushfires were what they seem as portrayed online.

I assumed wrongly, it seems
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

User avatar
fwiw
Posts: 1172
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:06 pm

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by fwiw » Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:04 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:55 am
Twitter bots and trolls promote conspiracy theories about Australian bushfires

Research from QUT shows that 'some kind of a disinformation campaign' is pushing the Twitter hashtag #ArsonEmergency. There is no arson emergency...
:reading: https://www.zdnet.com/article/twitter-b ... bushfires/

I couldn't possibly comment on this story, could I?

:coffee:
Kim

It is worth a quote though (my emphasis):
As Australia continues to battle bushfires of unprecedented size and ferocity, a social media disinformation campaign is pushing false conspiracy theories about their cause.

Tweets with the hashtag #ArsonEmergency are coming from a "much higher" proportion of bot-like or troll-like accounts than those with more general bushfire-related hashtags such as #BushfireAustralia or #AustraliaFire, according to initial analysis by Dr Timothy Graham from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

Graham came to look at #ArsonEmergency because it was being used by some of the more suspicious-looking individual Twitter accounts he'd been tracking.

"They were really focused in particular on climate denial, and The Greens being responsible for the bushfires, and arson attacks being responsible for the bushfires as well," he told ZDNet on Tuesday.

Those last two are conspiracy theories, he said.

The Greens, or "greenies" in general, have not blocked hazard reduction burning in bushfire-prone areas. In fact they support it.

And while some bushfires are caused by arson, there is no evidence to suggest that the current season has seen a higher level of this crime.

In New South Wales, one of the two states hit hardest by the bushfires so far, only 24 people have been charged with arson. This compares with 53 people charged with failing to comply with a total fire ban, and 47 people who tossed a lit cigarette, or match.

I think we can safely toss this crackpot-right-wing-conspirationist talking point to the trash
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

User avatar
fwiw
Posts: 1172
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:06 pm

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by fwiw » Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:22 pm

Looks quite impressive, provided the image hasn't been doctored in any significant way

... just my opinion, for what it's worth

User avatar
SethRich
Posts: 701
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by SethRich » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:12 pm

Greetings,
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:12 am
Reality check ... https://www.fox5ny.com/news/maps-show-a ... ted-states
Oh no, apparently my house has burnt down! Yours?

:candle:
"He goes to hell, the one who asserts what didn’t take place" (Ud 4.8)
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Transition to greatness" (Donald J. Trump)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

User avatar
SethRich
Posts: 701
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by SethRich » Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:21 am

Greetings Kim,
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:09 pm
A small silver lining is that an enormous number of people who genuinely doubted climate science, or thought that climate change would not be a big problem anytime soon, have realised that it's real and it's here now. They are acting and demanding action.
Who exactly are these people?

Any I know who fall into that category tend to see the situation somewhat like this...



I don't know any who "have realised that it's real and it's here now" and "are acting and demanding action"... got any examples?

If there's an "enormous number" and this isn't merely papañca-saññā-sankhā, it shouldn't be hard to source a few genuine examples. Link or it didn't happen.

:candle:
"He goes to hell, the one who asserts what didn’t take place" (Ud 4.8)
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Transition to greatness" (Donald J. Trump)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Posts: 1368
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:01 am

SethRich wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:21 am
Link or it didn't happen.

:candle:

:rofl:

SethRich wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:58 am
Greetings Kim,

You can discuss the points if you like. I may or may not respond - it depends if what you say interests me.

As I see it, other people's attachment to views are their concern, not mine, and I hold no inclination towards coercion or changing another's views.

Therefore I'm happy enough for others to say their piece, for me to say mine, and for people to do what they will with the assorted perspectives.

Kind regards.

:candle:
:toilet:

:coffee:
Kim

User avatar
SethRich
Posts: 701
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by SethRich » Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:22 am

Greetings Kim,

So the "enormous number" is 0 then...? OK.

I thought it sounded like some bad doomer fan-fiction... thanks for confirming.

:namaste:

:candle:
"He goes to hell, the one who asserts what didn’t take place" (Ud 4.8)
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Transition to greatness" (Donald J. Trump)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

User avatar
fwiw
Posts: 1172
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:06 pm

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by fwiw » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:22 am

SethRich wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:21 am
I know who fall into that category tend to see the situation somewhat like this...

This is interesting because some of these are facts that can be examined.

1. The bushfires have nothing to do with 'climate change' (of course)
2. The real culprits are environmentalists (of course) by outlawing 'controlled burns' and 'fire breaks'
3. 'Many' of the fires are started deliberately

Point n°1 involves too much ideology to be discussed easily

Point n°2 can be discussed, but rather by experts on the matter, so it's an easy claim, hard to falsify and therefore, according to epistemologist Karl Popper, it has little value on this forum, unless there are unbiased in-depth analysis publicly available, which I doubt.

Point n°3 is more interesting though.

So PJ Watson authored an article on the subject:

Nearly 200 People Arrested Across Australia For Deliberately Starting Bushfires
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/ ... -bushfires

As is often the case with propagandists, the statement in the headline is clearly false, but the inside of the article is more nuanced (a lot more people read just the headline than read the entire article)

So let's talk about the headline first:

Were ‘Nearly 200’ People Arrested for Deliberately Starting Australia Bushfires?
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/austr ... bushfires/

But some, including Alex Jones’ conspiracy site InfoWars that spreads climate change denialism, falsely reported that “nearly 200 people” were arrested in Australia for “deliberately” starting bushfires.

That would be a distortion of the facts. Police in New South Wales released a statement disclosing that since Nov. 8, 2019, 183 people, including 40 juveniles, have been charged with 205 bushfire-related offenses. Of the 183, 24 people have been charged with deliberately setting fires. According to police, of the 183, another “53 people have had legal actions for allegedly failing to comply with a total fire ban,” and an additional “47 people have had legal actions for allegedly discarding a lighted cigarette or match on land.”
So now that the intellectual dishonesty of PJ Watson has been clearly established, we can talk about the content of the article. There is actually nothing there that supports the claim made in the headline

Here is the original report by the police department of NSW
https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/news/news ... w9MQ%3D%3D

It mentions the number 183:
"legal action – which ranges from cautions through to criminal charges – has been taken against 183 people – including 40 juveniles – for 205 bushfire-related offences"
PJ Watson also mentions the number 183, but in relation to something quite different:
A total of 183 people have been arrested by police in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania for lighting bushfires over the last few months, figures obtained by news agency AAP show.
He links his source to this article from the Brisbane Times which doesn"t mention the number 183 nor NSW, Victoria, South Australia or Tasmania, and seems to be pretty bad in its writing in the first place. It says:
Almost 100 firebugs have deliberately started blazes across Queensland that have destroyed homes and consumed thousands of hectares of bushland.
No mention of the time period considered. Is it the last month? The last year? The last decade? It's anyone's guess. I can see why propagandists would like to use this article as their source, since they know few read beyond the headline of the article, and fewer still are going to click on the links and actually see where PJ Watson is coming from.


So, it appears quite clear that PJ Watson is not in any way a trustworthy source of knowledge. Rather, he is BSer who exists only because his fans fail to fact check what he says, being primarily driven by ideology and seeking validation for their pre-existing bias.


The closest thing to evidence in Watson's article is the following quote from a 7News (Rupert Murdoch - linked) tweet:
Police are now working on the premise arson is to blame for much of the devastation caused this bushfire season.
"much" of the bushfires. Which can mean anything from 10 to 99% of them. Vague, to say the least.
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 25 guests