The age of fire: Countries from Siberia to Australia burning

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The age of fire: Countries from Siberia to Australia burning

Postby Squire » 04 Dec 2019, 11:08

There have been fires consuming forests around the world this year and every year seems to be worse than the preceding year.

Europe, Asia, South America, North America are all burning.

Many fires are deliberately started by men and corporations for the purpose of clearing land. It is evident that mankind has been more responsible for loss of forests to fire than nature has by naturally occuring ignition by lightning and other means not caused by man.

Australia is a leading participant in deforestation.

"In 2015, WWF analysis concluded that more than 80% of deforestation between now and 2030 – up to 170 million hectares in total – is expected to take place in 11 deforestation ‘fronts’. One of these is Eastern Australia, which ranks alongside the Amazon, Borneo, Congo Basin and other threatened tropical regions for the extent of forest at risk."

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/29/countries-from-siberia-to-australia-are-burning-the-age-of-fire-is-the-bleakest-warning-yet

Countries from Siberia to Australia are burning: the age of fire is the bleakest warning yet
It is time not only to think the unthinkable, but to speak it: the world economy, civilisation, and maybe our survival as a species are on the line

Julian Cribb

Fri 29 Nov 2019 19.00 GMTLast modified on Sat 30 Nov 2019 08.32 GMT

Realms as diverse and distant as Siberia, Amazonia, Indonesia, Australia and California are aflame. Photograph: Andrew Merry/Getty Images
On any day, between 10,000 and 30,000 bushfires burn around the planet.

Realms as diverse and distant as Siberia, Amazonia, Indonesia, Australia and California are aflame. The advent of “the age of fire” is the bleakest warning yet that humans have breached boundaries we were never meant to cross.

It is time not only to think the unthinkable, but to speak it: that the world economy, civilisation, and maybe our very survival as a species are on the line. And it is past time to act.

It isn’t just fires. It’s the incessant knell of unnatural (human-fed) disasters: droughts, floods, vanishing rivers, lakes and glaciers and the rise in billion-dollar weather impacts.

It is the spate of extinctions, the precipitous loss of sea fish, birds and corals, of forests, mammals, frogs, bees and other insects. It is the march of deserts and the waxing of dead zones in the oceans.

It is an avalanche of human chemical emissions poisoning our air, water, food, homes, cities, farms and unborn babies, slaying nine million a year.

It is the probability there will be no Arctic before the end of this century and rising seas expelling 300 million from their homes.


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It is the ominous seepage of methane from the world’s oceans, tundra, swamps and fossil fuels, threatening runaway heating of 7 to 10 degrees or more.

It is the drift of billions of tonnes of soil from lands that feed us into the blind depths of the ocean, placing food security on a knife-edge as farming systems fail amid a turbulent climate and degraded landscapes.

It is the rising toll of noncommunicable disease killing three people in every four.

It is the $1.8tn spent weaponising nations for the true “war to end all wars”. Unchained by political malice or blunder, robot weapons of mass destruction commanded by artificial intelligence will choose who lives and who dies.

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Yet a global citizen movement of scientists, youth, elders and women is demanding urgent action in the face of a growing risk of collapse. Its scientific warnings, Extinction Rebellion and the school strike for climate are flooding the streets of the world’s cities.

Pope Francis plans to add “ecological sin against the common home” to the Catholic catechism. The Bank of England’s governor, Mark Carney, warns of “abrupt financial collapse” due to climate change. In its annual assessment of catastrophic risks the Global Economic Forum sees mounting danger.

Prof Jem Bendell, of the University of Cumbria, UK, is among voices warning that the collapse of civilisation may have begun. Because we cannot easily predict its pace, trajectory or magnitude is no reason for inaction, he says. His paper, Deep Adaptation: a Map for Navigating our Climate Tragedy, predicts: “There will be a near-term collapse in society with serious ramifications for the lives of [citizens].” Catastrophe is “probable”, it added, and extinction “is possible”.


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Yet so far only a handful of countries – France, Canada, Britain, Ireland and Argentina – have declared even a climate emergency. Most governments continue to move at glacial pace and turn a blind eye to the nine other mega-threats threats menacing humanity. Why?

Because a worldwide counter-revolution is under way, intended to paralyse action on climate, environmental loss, extinction, toxic air water and food. It is financed by “dark money” from a terrified fossil fuels sector through shady institutions. It pours hundreds of millions of dollars into global propaganda to discredit climate and environmental science, seduce government and deceive the public.

More sinister still is the growing control of the fossil fuels lobby over governments and the world media – not only in floundering western democracies, but also Russia, China, Brazil, India and Saudi Arabia.

Now a new UN report says fossil corporates plan to ramp up carbon emissions 50% to 120% by 2030 beyond the limit for a safe human future (1.5C degrees). Despite the renewables boom, fossil infrastructure investment has rebounded in 2019 after three years of decline, the International Energy Agency says. On the face of it, the fossil lobby has turned the tide.


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There are only three motives to so hazard civilization: greed, malice and ignorance. Either the returns are so great that fossil executives are willing to cook their own grandchildren, or they are blind to the risks. Since these are technical people, the latter does not ring true: oil majors like Shell and ExxonMobil have revealed in court they understood exactly what they were doing to the planet for nearly 50 years. Ignoring it, they then sought to deceive humanity while ramping up carbon output.

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The world is dividing into two opposing movements: the concerned “survivors” – the young, the old, the wise, the educated, the informed and the pragmatic – and the cynics backing the very global system that will precipitate collapse.

Some scientists’ estimates for how many lives collapse will cost range from 50%-90% of the human population. The number is not knowable because human behaviour, as war, cannot be foretold. The process starts with famines and water crises, both already in evidence, leading to refugee tsunamis and multiplying conflicts.

As this truth sinks in, the part of humanity committed to survival is seeking legal redress. Columbia Law School documents more than 1,640 ongoing lawsuits against fossil fuel companies and/or governments. But the law is slow, and justice can be bought.

It is time to speak the unspeakable.

Without urgent action to terminate fossil fuel use, return the planet to a state of ecological health and address all 10 mega-threats in an integrated way, our worst fears will become our fate. Collapse becomes inexorable.

Doing nothing or too little sentences humanity to collapse – economic, societal, even existential. It is time to discuss this, openly, honestly, truthfully.

We have only one rational choice: to choose to survive.

This demands all necessary actions – although they spell the end of existing systems of energy, food, water, money, defence, transport and politics – and their replacement with new ones, universally dedicated to a viable, just and sustainable human and planetary future.
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Re: The age of fire: Countries from Siberia to Australia bur

Postby HBS Guy » 04 Dec 2019, 13:53

Yes, acknowledge the grave danger—we are at the threshold of unknowable consequences.

Deforestation can be halted and reversed. Simple government policies promoting RE and EVs can be implemented. Bump the excise on petrol by 20¢/Litre, etc. Make public transport free and levy congestion taxes on city centres.

Pity we did not do this in the 1990s, could have built a nuclear power station or two, closed down all the filthy brown coal burning power stations. Fuck those idiotic governments encouraging clear felling of farm blocks.
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Re: The age of fire: Countries from Siberia to Australia bur

Postby Chuck » 07 Dec 2019, 17:45

The smoke haze from Siberia drifted into Alaska. I was touring Alaska during this time.

There were talk that the Siberian blaze was the size of Europe.

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Re: The age of fire: Countries from Siberia to Australia bur

Postby HBS Guy » 07 Dec 2019, 17:57

Were huge fires!
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Re: The age of fire: Countries from Siberia to Australia bur

Postby johnsmith » 07 Dec 2019, 21:22

the one just north of Sydney was this morning was said to be covering an area of 350 00 hectares. :b
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Re: The age of fire: Countries from Siberia to Australia bur

Postby Bongalong » 13 Dec 2019, 10:06

Chuck wrote:The smoke haze from Siberia drifted into Alaska. I was touring Alaska during this time.

There were talk that the Siberian blaze was the size of Europe.

Chuck

Bullshit :roll
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Re: The age of fire: Countries from Siberia to Australia bur

Postby Bongalong » 13 Dec 2019, 10:09

johnsmith wrote:the one just north of Sydney was this morning was said to be covering an area of 350 00 hectares. :b

350,000 Hectares =
3,500 Square Kilometers
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Re: The age of fire: Countries from Siberia to Australia bur

Postby HBS Guy » 13 Dec 2019, 14:23

And our useless failed ad man pretending to be a Leader doesn’t want to shell out for another fire bombing plane or two. Probably prays to gawd to stop the fires. Useless!
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Re: The age of fire: Countries from Siberia to Australia bur

Postby Squire » 19 Dec 2019, 20:02

Morrison was extremely slow in declaring an emergency.

The Federal government did not commit significant resources to firefighting.
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Re: The age of fire: Countries from Siberia to Australia bur

Postby pinkeye » 20 Dec 2019, 00:23

Squire wrote:Morrison was extremely slow in declaring an emergency.

The Federal government did not commit significant resources to firefighting.



UMMM Squire.. I wasn't aware the PM HAS declared an EMERGENCY.
Correct me if I'm wrong. PLEASE.!!

As for Government funding for this fight, .. As far as I can tell it is NON-EXISTENT. !

These are State Governments and VOLUNTEERS fighting these fires.

NO Federal presence is visible.!
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Re: The age of fire: Countries from Siberia to Australia bur

Postby HBS Guy » 21 Dec 2019, 21:06

Three firefighters have lost their lives: 2 in NSW early this week and one in SA yesterday.

We absolutely need a government committed to Australia AND to evidence–based policyL AGW, bushfires, the rivers etc. Not the present bunch of failed and incompetent–and corrupt in too many cases—timeservers.
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Re: The age of fire: Countries from Siberia to Australia bur

Postby Squire » 04 Jan 2020, 08:20

The article below calls it the "pyrocene". The age of fire.

Two interesting concepts emerge from this article:

1. “Australia doesn't really have the aerial firefighting capacity that California does.”

2. Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere seasonal differences create the opportunity for an international fire-fighting force.

https://www.wired.com/story/australia-is-blazing-into-the-pyrocene-the-age-of-fire/

Australia Is Blazing Into the Pyrocene—the Age of Fire

MATT SIMON, SCIENCE 01.03.2020 12:31 PM

Australia’s bushfires have scorched millions of acres, putting millions of people at risk. Welcome to the hellish future of life on Earth.

If you want to gaze into the hellish future of human existence on Earth, look to Australia. Huge bushfires have torched 14.5 million acres since September, killing at least 18. Vast plumes of smoke are pouring into major cities along the east coast, imposing a dire respiratory health hazard on millions of people. And Australia’s fire season is just getting started.

For Californians, the scenes are familiar. The same cabal of factors, including climate change and land management, is conspiring to produce bigger wildfires that consume more land and kill more people. We have entered the age of embers—think of it like an ice age, but with flames, what fire historian Stephen Pyne calls the Pyrocene.

In both Australia and California, a warmer world means drier vegetation, which burns more readily. Australia is also buckling under a severe drought, coupled with a brutal heat wave—in mid December, the country saw its hottest day ever recorded, an average maximum temperature of 107.4 degrees Fahrenheit. As in California, severe winds can fan a mere spark into a wildfire so massive, it creates its own weather. And just as fast-moving flames swallowed up Paradise in 2018, fires are moving so quickly, they’re overwhelming whole Australian towns.

“It's unprecedented,” says fire scientist David Bowman of the University of Tasmania. “It's gotten worse than unprecedented—it's a catastrophe.” Australia’s fires are tearing through landscapes they shouldn’t be tearing through. Banana plantations, for example, should be filled with lush, green plants resistant to fire, but they too are going up in flames. “We're seeing fires in rural landscapes that are behaving in ways that are just very concerning,” says Bowman. “Very fast moving, overwhelming. When you're talking about evacuating rural towns, it's just chilling.”

BY KATIE M. PALMER AND MATT SIMON

In Australia as in California, climate change increased the likelihood of fires—but decades of local policy mistakes amplified their danger. For millennia, the native peoples of both places maintained a healthy relationship with fire, understanding the value in starting conflagrations so as to reset ecosystems, as wildfires have done since they first burned on Earth. If you let smaller blazes burn, they destroy brush that can otherwise build up and fuel an out-of-control wildfire.

When the British arrived in Australia, they brought with them a zero-tolerance policy on fire: Stamp out wildfires immediately. After World War II, though, Australian policymakers began to revolt. Taking a cue from aboriginal fire policies as well as rural Australians, they implemented a large-scale program of controlled burns.

“They wanted to give it some scientific rigor and some bureaucratic discipline, and it was really a major breakthrough,” says Pyne. “And this was considered as a kind of nationalist achievement—they weren't going to follow the British model anymore.” The US, which had also subscribed to the British zero-tolerance model, soon followed suit. (California doesn’t do nearly as much controlled burning as it should, but the southeastern US does it quite well.)

But then came tension in Australia between pro-fire foresters and urban environmentalists who lamented the destructive potential of fire, for wildlife in particular. “There's also still a deep suspicion of fire that comes out of British tradition, so they're always finding ways to prevent burning,” Pyne says. Fuel builds up, and then an intense drought sets the stage for supercharged wildfires. But again, vegetation is so dry and winds so fierce that even lush, manicured plantations are going up in flames.

The links between Australia and California are not limited to the conditions on the ground. Because they’re in different hemispheres, historically they’ve had opposing fire seasons—summer in Australia is winter in California, and vice versa. So with a sort of exchange program, firefighters from either region could pop across the Pacific to help battle seasonal blazes. But climate change is complicating that relationship, as the fire seasons in Australia and California lengthen and now overlap. Indeed, just as Australia’s fires were getting going this year, California was suffering its worst wildfires of the year all across the state.

“We're really struggling to be prepared, because we rely on personnel and also equipment,” says Martin Rice, head of research at Australia’s Climate Council. “Australia doesn't really have the aerial firefighting capacity that California does.”

The supercharged blazes of the Pyrocene are putting millions upon millions of people around the world directly at risk, and even larger populations indirectly at risk with smoke. Australia’s fires have darkened the skies of Sydney and sent smoke all the way to New Zealand. Wildfire smoke is absolutely terrible for any human to inhale, but especially for the elderly and asthmatic, with long-lasting effects on the immune systems of children. Australia’s wildfires, then, are both a rural and urban emergency.

But perhaps with climate change hitting Australia with such a dramatic assault, the nation can galvanize to confront the threat. “The metaphor I'm using is it's our Gallipoli,” says Bowman. “It was a massive military defeat, which we celebrate in a typically Australian way, because we say that it's nation-building.”

“I hope that's what's going to come out of this,” he adds. “We’re going to have to reimagine this whole experience somehow.”
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Re: The age of fire: Countries from Siberia to Australia bur

Postby HBS Guy » 04 Jan 2020, 13:51

’Scummo did not want to spend money leasing more firefighting planes. He has to be booted, surely? Govt of national unity?
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