Bushfires in Australia

Applying the Dharma for the preservation of planet Earth and its inhabitants
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:35 pm

fwiw wrote:
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.
:goodpost:

You did a great job with No 3.
No 1 and No 2 deserve similar treatment, especially since No 1 is a matter of science, not ideology. At this point we know enough of the science to say with great confidence that climate change did indeed contribute to the severity of the fire season. Look up the Garnaut study of about 2009, for instance.
No 2 has been covered in the media by the experts we need and the answer is that the claim is total BS.

It's late here now or I would find sources for you myself.

:zzz:
Kim

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SethRich
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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by SethRich » Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:22 pm

Greetings,
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:35 pm
No 2 has been covered in the media by the experts we need and the answer is that the claim is total BS.

It's late here now or I would find sources for you myself.
I found one for you...

State wide of mark on target burn-offs
Victoria carried out just over half the fuel reduction burns it planned in 2019, ultimately burning one-third of the public land that had been recommended by the Black ­Saturday bushfires royal ­commission.

The figures have been condemned by bushfire experts and landholders in fire-affected areas, with one accusing Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the Andrews Labor government of trying to avoid accountability by moving from a hectare target to a less transparent “risk reduction target”.

The information has come amid a horror fire season that has seen 25 people killed and thousands of homes lost in southeastern Australia, with at least two to three months of hot, dry conditions to go.

An Andrews government spokeswoman on Wednesday said DELWP conducted 251 planned burns totalling 130,044ha in 2018-19, as well as applying “other fuel management methods” to 12,034ha.

“In 2018-19, DELWP approved 246,396ha of public land for planned burning should conditions be appropriate for controlled fire,” she said.

The 130,044ha constitutes just 53 per cent of the 246,396ha of planned burns, and 34 per cent of the target recommended by the Black Saturday royal commission. A key recommendation of the 2010 commission, accepted by the Brumby Labor government at the time, was that the Victorian government significantly boost its level of fuel reduction from the then current annual level of 130,000ha, or about 1.7 per cent of public land, to 5 per cent of public land, or about 385,000ha.

The 2018-19 figures show DELWP did not even try to meet the commission’s recommen­dations in setting its target, with the 246,396ha of planned burns constituting just 64 per cent of the recommended 385,000ha.

While weather conditions have at times caused a cancellation of planned burns, some have also been hampered by green groups.

Near the Victorian town of Nowa Nowa, among communities evacuated as the East Gippsland fires roared through the region last week, a controlled burn in September was delayed and then significantly reduced.

The prescribed burn at Nelsons Road, Nowa Nowa, was initially intended to cover 370ha of land to the south of the town in September, but protests resulted in it being delayed until the following month.

Even then, only 9ha was burned after “community consultation”
, with some mulching and slashing also done in the area.

“The current bushfires did not reach the Nelsons Road burn but another nearby planned burn at Radar Hill played a significant role in helping to stop the fire,” a DELWP spokesman said.

Former CSIRO fire scientist David Packham slammed the Andrews government’s 2015 decision to move from hectare targets to “risk reduction targets”.

“Hectare targets were a process by which the department and government could be held ­accountable,” he said. “Such people don’t like being held accountable, especially when they’re doing the best they can to subvert what the commission came up with.”


Mr Packham also attacked the government for its refusal to release DELWP mapping of fuel loads across the state, which were previously publicly available.

DELWP last year demanded a fee of $1294.80 from the Weekly Times to process a Freedom of Information request for copies of the maps, and a state government spokeswoman this week told The Australian that publishing them “would be giving a map of where to start a fire to arsonists”.

“The level of secrecy from DELWP would make a nuclear research facility jealous,” Mr Packham said. He said he believed that even the 5 per cent target recommended by the royal commission was insufficient. “The royal commission originally concluded that 5-8 per cent ‘at a minimum’ would be appropriate,” he said. “When the final report came, the 5-8 had turned into 5 per cent and the word ‘minimum’ had disappeared.”

Fourth-generation mountain cattleman Bruce Commins, 66, said “mismanagement of the bush” through a lack of controlled burning was to blame for the ­severity of the current fires.

The East Gippsland farmer’s home north of Swift’s Creek and 2000ha grazing property near Benambra remain under threat from fires that have been burning since November 21. “I’m devastated by this,” said Mr Commins, a CFA volunteer for more than 45 years.

“The environmental damage that’s been done is beyond belief.

I really thought that after Black Saturday we would have had a change, but the royal commission recommendations just haven’t been followed in terms of fuel reduction burning. That is the issue — the fuel.”

Forest Fire Management Victoria chief Chris Hardman said the move away from hectare-based targets had been endorsed by an expert reference panel and was adopted “because it represented a more effective approach to reducing risk for life and property than a hectare-based target
:candle:
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Our civilization is at the point where we need to start discerning between 'Progression' & 'Regression'." (Kabamur)

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

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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:00 pm

Here's a new one for you, fwiw, mostly on the effect of climate change on our fire regime, with a bit about our lamentable federal government response - https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-04/ ... n/11559930

Here's a recent news article focusing on the bushfire warning in Garnaut's climate change report - https://www.sbs.com.au/news/how-a-clima ... ire-season - and here's much more about the whole report on wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garnaut_C ... nge_Review.

:reading:
Kim

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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:09 pm

SethRich wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:22 pm
Greetings,
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:35 pm
No 2 has been covered in the media by the experts we need and the answer is that the claim is total BS.

It's late here now or I would find sources for you myself.
I found one for you...

State wide of mark on target burn-offs
Murdoch press, which means that even if the facts are correct the narrative will follow their political line. That seems to be the case here.

Try the ABC, for instance:
Victorian fire chief says calls for more fuel reduction burns are an 'emotional load of rubbish'
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-07/ ... f/11849522

Or the SMH:
Hazard reductions burns are being hampered by longer fire seasons and extreme weather, [NSW] Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons says, warning the controversial technique is "not the panacea" some may be looking for to temper bushfires.

The Commissioner on Wednesday defended the RFS' record on hazard reduction burning, saying the agency was not comprised of "environmental bastards", indicating prescribed burns were done with the priorities of people, property and the environment in mind.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/hazard- ... 53poq.html

Or the Canberra Times:
Climate change is making fire conditions worse and making fires harder to fight, ACT rural fire chief says
https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/ ... hief-says/

Or just about anyone outside the Murdocracy. :toilet:

:namaste:
Kim

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SethRich
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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by SethRich » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:20 am

Greetings,

Today I read a statement to the effect of don't ignore the science, but don't be blinded by the narrative.

I think that's an appropriate posture to take.

After all, to focus on one potential cause to the exclusion of a series of historically demonstrable causes of bush fire does not seem conducive to the best outcomes, given the magnitude of damage that can be caused by an Aussie bush-fire.

Kind regards.

:candle:
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Our civilization is at the point where we need to start discerning between 'Progression' & 'Regression'." (Kabamur)

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

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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by fwiw » Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:03 am

SethRich wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:20 am
Today I read a statement to the effect of don't ignore the science, but don't be blinded by the narrative.

I think that's an appropriate posture to take.
This is funny, because science is essentially a narrative. A narrative that is reproducible.

SethRich wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:20 am
After all, to focus on one potential cause to the exclusion of a series of historically demonstrable causes of bush fire does not seem conducive to the best outcomes, given the magnitude of damage that can be caused by an Aussie bush-fire.
Unless you can show that the historic causes are enough in themselves to explain the outstanding consequences, for example by their increase in intensity, then it is not unreasonable at all to consider a change in circumstances to be the most likely responsible.
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by Kim O'Hara » Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:20 am


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fwiw
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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by fwiw » Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:39 pm

SethRich wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:22 pm
Greetings,
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:35 pm
No 2 has been covered in the media by the experts we need and the answer is that the claim is total BS.

It's late here now or I would find sources for you myself.
I found one for you...

State wide of mark on target burn-offs
Kim's article (from above) claims that Paul's article is misleading:
This week, the Australian reported that 183 arsonists had been arrested during the current bushfire season. The figure was the sum of data from various states and territories. But it wrongly characterised figures from a number of states, some of which were 12-month totals, and included statistics from other bushfire-related offences, including the contravention of total fire bans.

That report was spread globally, including by Donald Trump Jr and conspiracy theorist website InfoWars, which said it undermined “the media and celebrities” who “continue to blame ‘climate change’ for the disaster”.
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:49 am

:thanks:

and, for anyone who doesn't like or doesn't trust the ABC or the Guardian, here's the same message from the BBC via Twitter - so long as the technology doesn't break.
https://twitter.com/bbcrosatkins/status ... 1489820673

:coffee:
Kim

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fwiw
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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by fwiw » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:52 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:49 am
:thanks:

and, for anyone who doesn't like or doesn't trust the ABC or the Guardian, here's the same message from the BBC via Twitter - so long as the technology doesn't break.
https://twitter.com/bbcrosatkins/status ... 1489820673

:coffee:
Kim
Isn't BBC a bunch of libtards, though? Never mind that they were fiercely anti-Corbyn and kept trying to portray him as an antisemite, while his main contender was Boris Johnson, who eventually won in part thanks to those endless smears.


Here is more for Paul (emphasis mine):
A misleading figure suggesting 183 arsonists have been arrested “since the start of the bushfire season” spread across the globe on Wednesday, after initial reports in News Corp were picked up by Donald Trump Jr, US far-right websites and popular alt-right personalities.

The figure included statistics from some states covering the entirety of 2019, rather than just the current bushfire season, which began in September.

In Victoria, 43 alleged arsonists were counted among the 183 arrested “in the past few months” and “since the start of the bushfire season”. That Victorian figure was, in fact, the figure for the year ending September 2019, meaning it had no relation to the current bushfire season.

“There is currently no intelligence to indicate that the fires in East Gippsland and the North East have been caused by arson or any other suspicious behaviour,” a Victoria police spokeswoman said.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-n ... -bushfires

And more

Two of the main conspiracies about the fires are based on the false ideas that they are caused by a spate of arson and they have been worsened by the Green Party's supposed efforts to stop controlled burns as a fire management and reduction measure.

Dr. Timothy Graham from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) did an analysis of the online activity and concluded there was a high level of bots involved in spreading these conspiracies. As ZDnet reported, Graham is “at least confident” that that this was some type of disinformation campaign.

Sites like NewsWars — which was founded by the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones who falsely claimed the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax — are already pushing these conspiracies.

Notorious climate deniers Patrick Michaels and Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute promoted the same conspiracies in the Washington Examiner. And the discredited extremist science denier Lord Monckton also weighed in.

However, it isn’t just fringe sites pushing these ideas. The New York Times reports that Rupert Murdoch’s media empire has also been instrumental in publishing these debunked claims (and others claiming that these fires are no worse than normal).

A common theme in these myths is that the Australian police and firefighters are the source of these purported claims about the wildfires, which has been strongly refuted by none other than the police and firefighters.

The Guardian reported that a spokeswoman for the Victoria police said, “There is currently no intelligence to indicate that the fires in East Gippsland and the North East have been caused by arson or any other suspicious behaviour.”

That same article notes that according to a Rural Fire Service spokesman, “The majority of the larger fires in the state [of New South Wales] were caused by lightning, and that arson was a relatively small source of ignition.”

Members of the New South Wales fire brigade have also dismissed the idea that the fires are due to efforts by the Green Party to stop fire management practices.

NSW Rural Fire Service boss @RFSCommissioner has shot down @Barnaby_Joyce's claim that 'green caveats' stopped his team from conducting hazard reduction burns, leading to the bushfire crisis. #7NEWS https://t.co/MrtkXy88fL
— 7NEWS Sydney (@7NewsSydney) January 7, 2020

https://www.desmog.co.uk/2020/01/08/aus ... es-murdoch
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:18 am

You don't like the BBC?
:shrug:
Change the first letter again: here's the NBC.

https://www.nbcnews.com/science/environ ... n-n1112736

:tongue:
Kim

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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by fwiw » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:23 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:18 am
You don't like the BBC?
It was satire, but all mainstream outlets come out in favor of the oligarchy against democracy when it really matters. Doesn't make everything they report false. I wanted to point out though that people like Paul are likely to dismiss anything that comes out from BBC or The Guardian and trust instead InfoWars (Alex Jones and PJ Watson), Breitbart, Rupert Murdoch-controlled but decent-looking outlets etc.
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by SethRich » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:36 am

Greetings,

What I find ironic, as climate ideologues at each extreme of the spectrum wage narrative war against each other, is the following...

Regardless of who (if any of them) are correct, the question still arises... "How do we prepare for the following Summer to reduce the likelihood, number and severity of bushfires?".

Neither extreme, as far as I've seen, actually brings practical new methods and techniques to the table. Therefore...

Perhaps the greatest irony of all, is that if those who subscribe to the Climate Emergency narrative are correct, and the risk profile genuinely is worsened, then this is all the more reason to comprehensively do the risk management practices that those at the other end of the spectrum are championing!

Yet, when such factors are mentioned in discussion, such ideologies invariably point and scream "climate denial!" and try to diminish the value and importance of such practices.

It is because of the above logic that it appears to me that Climate Emergency ideologues are more interested in promoting the Climate Emergency ideology than they are in mitigating the devastation of Australian bushfires. If their argument were "Yes, and...", rather than "No, but..." it would do wonders for their cause, because they would be demonstrating internal consistency and authenticity.

Kind regards.

:candle:
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Our civilization is at the point where we need to start discerning between 'Progression' & 'Regression'." (Kabamur)

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

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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by fwiw » Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:15 am

SethRich wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:36 am
Regardless of who (if any of them) are correct, the question still arises... "How do we prepare for the following Summer to reduce the likelihood, number and severity of bushfires?".
This is exactly the question environmentalists want answered.

Perhaps the greatest irony of all, is that if those who subscribe to the Climate Emergency narrative are correct, and the risk profile genuinely is worsened, then this is all the more reason to comprehensively do the risk management practices that those at the other end of the spectrum are championing!
If there are genuinely good risk management practices that can mitigate the effects of fire, then they should be discussed, the pros and cons weighed. Not every eco-concerned person fits in your blanket characterization. We should avoid displaying selective ability to apply nuances.

Yet, when such factors are mentioned in discussion, such ideologies invariably point and scream "climate denial!" and try to diminish the value and importance of such practices.
Could that possibly have anything to do with the fact that PJ Watson mentioned clearly his climate denialism in point n°1 in the tweet you provided us? Isn't this a case of falsely projecting fake or idiotic outrage on those who disagree?

It is because of the above logic that it appears to me that Climate Emergency ideologues are more interested in promoting the Climate Emergency ideology than they are in mitigating the devastation of Australian bushfires. If their argument were "Yes, and...", rather than "No, but..." it would do wonders for their cause, because they would be demonstrating internal consistency and authenticity.
People are not windmills. This is like criticizing a painting made by oneself and blaming the painting's defects on the person it seeks to represent.
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:00 am

fwiw wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:23 am
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:18 am
You don't like the BBC?
It was satire, but all mainstream outlets come out in favor of the oligarchy against democracy when it really matters. Doesn't make everything they report false. I wanted to point out though that people like Paul are likely to dismiss anything that comes out from BBC or The Guardian and trust instead InfoWars (Alex Jones and PJ Watson), Breitbart, Rupert Murdoch-controlled but decent-looking outlets etc.
Don't worry, I knew all that and had it very much in my mind as I was writing.

(I do say what I think but I rarely say all that I think. Right Speech guidelines... )

:coffee:
Kim

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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:28 am

SethRich wrote:
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:
Just to keep you happy, then, Paul -
Veteran pollster John Utting believes the fires have been an “absolutely seminal moment. The conversation in the past has been kind of abstract, with [the case for stronger action] very much in in the hands of the virtue signallers; people felt they were being lectured. But now, everyone is breathing the proof. There is an incredible amount of evidence that the issue is beginning to bite … people are worried about a huge loss of lifestyle, and the impact on how they want to live and what they like about this country.”
:reading: https://www.smh.com.au/environment/clim ... 53qd0.html

:coffee:
Kim

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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:20 am

ABC News screenshot 2020-01-15.jpg
ABC News screenshot 2020-01-15.jpg (78 KiB) Viewed 82 times
:toilet:

:coffee:
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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by SarathW » Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:20 am

SethRich wrote:
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:
In my opinion, this is the solution for the bush fire in a short term basis.
There should be new tough penalties for deliberate arsons.
If Australians need a solution they have to take the climate change debate out of this misfortune.

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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by fwiw » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:08 am

SarathW wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:20 am

In my opinion, this is the solution for the bush fire in a short term basis.
There should be new tough penalties for deliberate arsons.
Are you assuming being tougher on arsonists will solve the bushfire problem?


If Australians need a solution they have to take the climate change debate out of this misfortune.
What if the problem has anything to do with climate change? Can it be solved without even talking about the root cause?
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Post by Kim O'Hara » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:49 am

Relatively good news but still mixed -

Screen Shot ABC News 2020-01-16.jpg
Screen Shot ABC News 2020-01-16.jpg (61.99 KiB) Viewed 65 times

:coffee:
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