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Bushfire Royal Commission battleground: fuel loads or climate change?

By Charles Essery - posted Monday, 20 January 2020


The inevitable forthcoming inquiries into this season's bushfires will be important for the future of natural resource management, the protection of human lives/property and the habitats of billions of native animals. The Greens and climate change cultists (CCCers) will try to distract the public, media and inquiry with claims of divine retribution (Gaia being their adopted god) for the Australian government's resistance to "bending the knee" to the IPCC royal court.

Who would envy the chair/commissioner of any bushfire inquiry? There will be many motivated stakeholders in this battle royal.

  • The fire authorities will understandably want to defend their plans and approaches. No doubt they will be criticised by all.
  • The volunteer fire fighters, who will be praised (and rightly so), but based on past inquiries, their views will most likely be deemed secondary and too site specific.
  • The Greens and CCCers who seize the opportunity to corral urgent attention away from their restrictivehazard reduction policies and focus all towards the impact of climate change CO2 driven emissions.
  • Natural resource managers who will want to promote more effective control of the landscape, such as prescribed burning or animal grazing and deemed as vandals by the Greens and CCCers.
  • Independent or retired foresters and natural resource scientists, who will want to give free and frank information and will be attacked by the dominant stakeholders.
  • Ecologists who will want to protect habitats and hence independently align with the Greens and CCCers.
  • Land-owners who will want greater scope to prepare land and protect assets from future fires.
  • Local and state governments who will aim which to cover their well-padded posteriors and avoid even more from any responsibilityfor the consequences of resulting from their developmentapprovals on the "rural urban interface". Yes "RUI" is a planning term.
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In the background, the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) based industries, such as renewables, will support pro-climate change advocates.

The chair/commissioner will need the wisdom of Solomon and the stamina of Samson. Each state may run its own inquiry, but ultimately the most beneficial and least partisan process would be the establishment of a Royal Commission for all Australian bushfires. Based on his performance with the Banking Royal Commission, we would be well served be someone of the calibre of the Honourable Kenneth Hayne AC QC.

Make no mistake, this will not be an Australian-only affair. The Global Climate Change believers and their powerful, well-funded, media connected AGW backers will scrutinise every word of a Royal Commission. AGW supports a multibillion-dollar global business. They will not want these fires blamed an anything other than anthropogenic climate change/warming. Already the troops are assembled by the AWG-backers and CCCRersare ready to enter the streets and airways. and preliminary skirmishes have begun:

  • Hollywood luvvies are lining up with their hysterical demands and foul language.
  • The IPCC et al is attacking the Australian Government's climate change approach.
  • CCC 'experts' are filling the media with affirmations that the fires are the first manifestation of CO2 impacts.
  • Ross Garnaut is being hailed for his 2020 prediction of fires (even though he got most other emissions related forecasts wrong).
  • The media is ignoring the findings of the expert report on 2017-19 California wildfires which strongly pointed to land management and lack of prescribed burning.
  • Industries built around AGW will want to lobby for anything that supports their profits.
  • Having taught only CC cultism in our schools for decades, this year's addition will be "climate change bushfire" and the early example of AGW. As other claims of dams not filling, coastal sea-level rises, temperature rises, increased hurricanes, reefs disappearance etc haven't eventuated, these bushfires will be a crucial sign for CCC supporters.
  • Even before the fires are under control, the CCCers are out screaming in the streets (babies in tow) trying to pre-empt the findings. The ABC coverage of the 10th January CCC marches is a classic example of the biased view we will get.

The other players haven't even thought about their approach, while the CCCers are fully armed and have claimed the high ground on the battlefield.

Bushfires need fuel and oxygen. Oxygen can he enhanced by winds and fuel is dominated by land management practices which determine the fuel load. Without heavy fuel loads, fires are manageable and are less destructive. Rain will supress ignition, while dry periods will enhance flammability. It's that basic.

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For those who want to turn any Royal Commission into a climate change battle, they are letting down our community. A Commission's terms of reference can keep the process focused, but who will keep the media and the CCCers focused on the real issues, rather than their blinkered agenda of no emissions, vegetarianism and global wealth equalisation?

A Royal Commission or inquiry could usefully recommend:

  • increased capacity to meet greater climate change variations
  • adoption of a serious approach to fuel load management
  • planning rules be improved to prevent dangerous RUI development

Should CCCers be allowed to drive their agenda, then we will continue to be locked in a "Groundhog Day" loop, just as we are with urban and rural water management.

The most important outcome of a Royal Commission will be universal adoption of its key recommendations. Too many previous inquires for over a century have been applauded, only to be ignored. This time, the recommendations must be implemented by the State Governments and supported/overseen by the Federal Government.

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About the Author

Charles Essery is an independent water consultant, who has been an Australia resident since 1990.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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