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Messages - Baggers

Blah-Blah Bar / Re: Deer in the Headlights
Sorry Chalky but you’re way off the mark there. We’ve never experienced anything like the intensity, extent and duration of the current bushfires ... and we’re still not in the peak bushfire season.

Sorry, Chalky Old Son, but DJC is spot on. And those on the ground, facing these fires, who've faced and studied firefighting for decades, say the same thing.
Blah-Blah Bar / Re: Daisy and Billy in the jungle?
I must have a similar constitution as I begin to feel physically ill if I happen to be in a room where an unreality program is playing.

I know that I can rely on CSC members to pass on any items of interest about Daisy :)

That's you, Pauly and me, David. I firmly believe that if you're in the same room as a reality show and pay careful attention, you can literally feel your IQ points falling.  😬  Only the other night I saw a promo for the survivor cr@p and I went looking for a basket I could weave.
Blah-Blah Bar / Re: Deer in the Headlights
I think the primary issue is that the impression is crafted by the loudest voices which are generally at the extremes of the debate.

In my job I get exposed to a lot of scientists, some of them actual climate and environment scientists and not just opinionated biologists or physicists. The scientists almost never use words like "will" or "is", and always use terms like "could" or "might". It's that "Imposter Syndrome" kicking in, the more you know the less definitive and confident you become.

It's the idiots, morons and extremists who declare things in the definitive, the Dunning-Kruger effect in full swing!

Back on the Hazard Management / Fuel Reduction debate, the rules are the same for all fires, The Fire Triangle applies no matter if it's a wildfire in the bush or the family barbecue.

Finally if fuel reduction isn't effective, why are they back-burning in the Corryong yesterday and again later this week?

The reported and published words don't mean much when the actions don't match.

Finally, why do some(people or business) want the fires to be declared an act of arson? It can be for as simple of a reason as the fine print in the insurance policy that they signed!

Good post, Spotted One.

Spot on re Dunning Kruger Effect.
Blah-Blah Bar / Re: Deer in the Headlights
And as for possums when people were screaming at bracks to do something about them destroying the Botanic Gardens?  The effwit said "they were here first".
Should be a state wide cull on them, bats and mynahs.

I wonder if Bracks applied the same logic to Indigenous Aussies?  😕

The Kiwis have the right idea for possums... they make good purses, etc. And this is from a country way more 'environmental' than us. Nothing but over grown rats those possums.
Blah-Blah Bar / Re: Deer in the Headlights
What was I saying the other day about the divide between city and country?  Never been more obvious and all it needs is a good read of posts here.  Try this .. I had to release a possum after getting it out of my roof in Kew.  Effin' nuts.  After moving here?  See a brown snake, ring a mate, 2 minutes later, shotgun and a beer.  Eye opening.  And so much better

I think you can find plenty of examples that go the other way, completely. I've certainly sent snakes, possums and rats to 'a better place' when they posed a threat to the wellbeing of my family or attempting to destroy my veggie patch -- yes, living in a bayside suburb then and also when we lived in Tyabb.

One of my dear friends (city dweller - outer suburb) grows the best tomatoes you will ever taste... mostly beefheart for all his pastes (tradition Italian pasta sauces). Suffice to say he has no issues with possoms. As some vanish and new ones arrive, they mysteriously vanish as well... no-one messes with his tomatoes! Kiwis have the right idea for possoms. Conversely, I can tell you about friends in Gippy who would be horrified by my mates attitudes and actions to protect his tomatoes/veggie garden!

I've lived in both city and country since leaving the Navy in 1976 and although there are some definite cultural differences, the divide is not as great as some might believe. We live 2 hours from Melbourne now and the mix of folks here is pretty diverse... there is the 'less rush' of the country here, which I like. I don't miss the smell of pollution in the air of the city, that's for sure. The smell of eucalypt in the morning... aahhhh, magnificent.
Blah-Blah Bar / Re: Deer in the Headlights
I guess it is a human trait to believe what you want to believe Baggers. True for people from all walks of life and shades of political opinion. Unfortunately few of us are blessed with the gift of absolute impartiality.

Yes, I guess I'm biased against News Ltd/Fox News!  🥴

The people we trust to be the most impartial are scientists, because they test and retest their results. I wonder if they've had anything to say about the horrors of our recent fires  🤓  😉
Blah-Blah Bar / Re: Deer in the Headlights
Unfortunately Baggers. there have been many more than a couple started by arsonists. 

I should have been clearer... posting on the run, silly me. Apologies to the Fluffy One and Chalky old son. The 'couple' of fires referred to in my post related to a recent spate of a dozen or so but I didn't clarify that - my bad! (Two of those were confirmed, deliberate... but I failed to give the necessary details/specifics ...doh!).

Yes, over, for example an entire fire season you'll find anything up to 50% caused by deliberate or suspicious circumstances. As mentioned previously, and in the greater scheme of things, there will always be those sick individuals who will deliberately or carelessly cause a bush fire so we have to be even better at locating and combatting fires, especially as now bush fires have the potential to cause so much more devastation.

As TONYO said, "The old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure - if we have effective and well-provisioned emergency workforces including volunteers, providing proactive as well as reactive services, we are less likely to end up wondering how so many of these events go so wrong."

Blah-Blah Bar / Re: Deer in the Headlights
I think that may be somewhat of an underestimation Baggers.

Some cases could be called accidental/careless but the "deliberate" category is significant.

It's a curly one, Fluffy One... depends on which media outlet you frequent sometimes as to the news you get. I tend not to give much credence to News Ltd stories as there is a definite bias with their interpretation of stories. The info I read said that though real and a deep concern -- deliberate fires -- what really terrified firies was 'dry' storms etc.

Anyway and either way, I guess the real issue is how fires can now develop from what we're used to or have known for more than a century, to what has recently been described by firies as types of fires they've not seen before and being increasingly difficult to combat, and starting earlier in the 'fire season', and lasting longer.
Blah-Blah Bar / Re: Deer in the Headlights
One factor we don't hear much about is how many of these fires are the result of firebug actions. I have read that many have been deliberately lit? This would be a problem of our society and its collective mental health?

There's been a couple of those, Fluffy One, but most common is lightning strikes. Fortunately firies are better screened these days as in the past the CFA (esp volunteers) becomes a place that pyromaniacs just loved to hang out... and secretly give everyone work to do! And you get the odd c0ckhead kids who light fires but with better drone technology and more of them these fires are usually spotted early.

As CC mentioned, what is really infuriating is the scam artists arriving on the scene to take advantage of the vulnerable. I probably shouldn't write this but I wouldn't be against publicly identifying and shaming these appalling creatures.
Blah-Blah Bar / Re: Deer in the Headlights
Even if we entertain the idea that Climate Change is not real (for the sake of the argument), who doesn't seriously believe that we would all benefit from better and cleaner ways of doing things ? We should change because the new ways are better - that's reason enough.

You're a cheeky one, Pauly, bringing common sense and logic into the whole argument!

If you consistently and persistently spew toxins into the atmosphere and water is it possible after doing enough of that for long enough there might just be some adverse effects for the living creatures?

And if your beautiful little niece was feeling unwell and 96% of doctors diagnosed a problem then suggested xyz treatment, yet 4% of doctors disagreed with the 96% and said there's nothing wrong with her - do nothing... whose advice would you take? Simplistic? Yes, but the same principle applies.
Blah-Blah Bar / Re: Deer in the Headlights
Yes, but he isn't the first nor is he the last.

When push comes to shove there's a lot of state responsibility being passed onto scomo currently and he is wearing a lot of heat that frankly should sit with state government.

The voters would do well to remind themselves you get what you vote for.

I'm no scomo fan, but the vitriol aimed at him from all angles is a bit rich. 

Either way, now isnt the time to look at what happened.  Now is the time to stop things from escalating.   Reactive yes, but required.

I suspect much of the vitriol aimed at Morrison is because he has been such a vocal climate change denier and has actively thwarted and prevented actions to increase fire fighting abilities. He's also the boss and represents a number of archaic ideologies.

A piece from this morning's The Age. Some good perspectives:

“…Associate Professor Philip Zylstra, from Wollongong University's Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, said fuel loads in forests, and state government management, were not responsible for the catastrophic fire season.

"I think that for the federal government to say there needs to be a focus on hazard-reduction burning at this stage appears to be passing the buck to the states," he said.

"The reality is we are at a peak of prescribed burning by state agencies. More has been done in the past decade than in many, many decades."

NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said there were 960,000 hectares burnt for hazard reduction last year, while the previous highest yearly total since 2000 was 260,000.

Professor Zylstra said a vast increase to the current hazard reduction effort would blanket cities and towns with smoke over winter and create "huge risks" of accidental property damage and even death.

Philip Gibbons, an associate professor at the Fenner School for Environment and Society at the Australian National University, said recent fires in several regions across the country were not halted by cleared farm paddocks, which showed broadscale land clearing was not an effective management technique.

"Fires have burned through rural land which has a much lower fuel load than a hazard-burn area, but that didn't stop fires."
Professor Gibbons said studies showed hazard-reduction burns weren't effective at halting fires and policy that focused on them could push states to set minimum-hectare-burned targets.

Victoria's fire managers have already shifted from an annual hectare target, which was set after the Black Saturday royal commission, to a more strategic approach.

A 2010 study from Wollongong University, The Effect of Fuel Age on the Spread of Fire in Sclerophyll Forest in the Sydney Region, found there was only a 10 per cent chance a fire would be stopped by a hazard-reduction burn. It said road barriers were most effective at halting fires.

"This summer's fires have burnt though many areas that had hazard-reduction burning. They can help control fires in moderate weather conditions, but in severe conditions it might just help reduce the severity," he said.

Cleared buffer zones in the bush within 40 metres of houses reduced house losses by an average of 43 per cent on Black Saturday, Professor Gibbons' study found. But he said no one technique was a solution.

"If there was a silver bullet on bushfires we'd have found it by now, after the 51 inquiries since 1939."

Associate Professor Trent Penman, from the University of Melbourne bushfire behaviour and management group, said "broader thinking" was needed and "blindly putting money into prescribed burning won't stop the problem".

He said states hadn't "dropped the ball at all" on hazard-reduction burning, and they were "working harder and smarter than they have in the past", particularly since the royal commission into Black Saturday…”
Blah-Blah Bar / Re: Deer in the Headlights
Irrespective of the current wave of criticism surrounding Scomo, he is on a hiding to nothing.

If he says something he is in trouble.  If he says nothing he is in trouble.  He cannot win at the moment, and he would do well to shrug off the criticism and then state now is the time for action and we can pontificate about what went wrong later.  At the moment we focus on our front line troops and then we can re-assess our priorities later.

He seems incapable of taking the oxygen out of the argument which is exactly what is required. 

He brought this on himself, especially when a number of scientific, fire-fighting and state govt bodies predicted this and asked for Federal help in buying large scale fire-fighting equipment... dating back to 2016 and on a few occasions this year... and right along the line who was the person refusing to acknowledge the problem or legitimacy of scientific evidence? Morrison. His political and religious ideologies could be very expensive for this nation, on a few levels.
Blah-Blah Bar / Re: Deer in the Headlights
Maybe if the State/Fed Goverments could ignore and not be hampered by these greens/ tree huggers and were able to conduct proper back burning and being able to control the amount of fuel available we wouldnt be relying on ScoMo to provide hose and bucket solutions.

Actually a number of firies said it was corporates who hadn't attended to their land and councils that were more responsible for undergrowth that wasn't cleared and acted as fuel. I think you're giving the Greens/Lefties way more influence than they're actually capable of.

One fire fighter said something about corporates getting carbon points for bush blocks... didn't catch it all.