What limited hazard reduction burning? Climate change.

Between making calls not to politicise the bushfire disaster, Barnaby Joyce and others have been busy denouncing the Greens, who allegedly prevented hazard reduction burning. This isn’t actually true: The rate of burning in NSW has more than doubled.

But there is one factor that has clearly limited hazard reduction burning. Because of the increased frequency of hot, windy days, even in winter, the window of time in which burning can be undertaken without the risk of accidentally starting fires has been narrowing. Here’s an example from August 2017, with authorities calling on landholders to limit burning off whenever possible, and noting that a number of hazard reduction burns have already escaped.

83 thoughts on “What limited hazard reduction burning? Climate change.

  1. The Victorian Country Fire Authority states on its website that “Planned burning can only be done in very mild and stable weather conditions. These conditions occur in a narrow weather window of five to eight weeks a year in spring and autumn.”

    https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/planned-burns

    In other states the weather window opens and closes later in the year. In south-east Queensland the prescribed burns are undertaken in late July and August. For example, prescribed burning is undertaken at this time on the various public land tenures in the Gold Coast Hinterland. This is no doubt intended to reduce the fire hazard to the significant number of residents and businesses in the urban-rural interface in this area. However, as the prevailing winds are westerly at this time of year, the resulting smoke wafts eastward over the more densely inhabited areas of the Gold Coast, causing complaints from the residents of those areas, most of whom are not “greenies” and do not complain for “greenie” reasons.

  2. Summarising,

    “there is one factor that has clearly limited hazard reduction burning”

    yet

    “The rate of burning in NSW has more than doubled”.

    So the fact that there are fewer safe burning days may not have had much of a practical effect.

  3. I’d love to know the truth about the impact of climate change on the fires. Sadly I can’t as both sides lie or at least exaggerate for their own gain.

  4. I’d comment at length on this thread or the one before it but I have been too busy carting dry leaf and stick trash from my property to the dump, too busy setting the waste bio-cycle sprinklers to damp remaining dead grass and more leaves too numerous to rake, too busy clearing burnables from under my house, too busy setting innumerable buckets. containers etc, of water at strategic places around my house, too busy lining up tools and protective clothing to use, too busy planning how long I might or should fight any fire and when and where I should bail to if I fail… you get the picture.

    Gee thanks, right wingers, you blocked all action on this issue. You’ve been a great help, NOT!

  5. HistoryinTime, it would also be great to know which side was in the right in WWII. But sadly, such questions are unanswerable for centrists determined to split the difference.

  6. Hazard reduction burning has not stopped forests in the NSW Northern Tablelands from exploding into flames, in some cases only 6 weeks after the burn off. These fires are in the treetops, they don’t need an understory, and have jumped breaks and burn backs with ease. Unprecedented means just that, the ball game has changed, the intensity without prior experience.

  7. A joke getting around: How many Nationals to change a light bulb? It’s inappropriate to ask that when people are being hurt stumbling in the dark.

    People like Mr Joyce can say stuff like environmentalists have prevented burning off and those predisposed – primed by decades of anti-environmentalist rhetoric – will take it as true and have no inclination to fact check or pay attention to people saying stuff based on actual knowledge who say otherwise. Attack is their principle means of defense – lacking any good defense based on facts and reason, inflaming existing prejudices is their only defense.

    So, when ever is there a good time for Nationals and Liberals to talk about climate change and drought and fire risk? For them to do so would be like an admission that the climate issue is real and is not driven by environmentalists. It would also throw light on the dangerous irresponsibility and negligence of throwing all those expert reports giving prior warning in the bin without reading them.

  8. Ikonoclast and others in the line of fire – I won’t offer thoughts or prayers. The kind of thoughts that really matter are foresight and preparation and planning. Preparation, including even the last minute sort, raises your chances and those of those near you – but if my recent experience is anything to go by, pace yourself.

  9. mrkenfabian,

    Your last paragraph asks the correct question and gives the correct answer. When ever IS there a good time for Nationals and Liberals to talk about climate change and drought and fire risk? Never, because that would mean admitting to their own mistakes and faults and then advising “you had better vote for the other guys, even the Greens, because we have stuffed everything up”.

    Australians need to do some hard thinking.

    (1) Net immigration needs to be slowed to zero until we get our country in order and until we determine what is a reasonable human carrying capacity for Australia.

    (2) Farming and grazing of marginal lands needs to be curtailed. If an area is drought declared and getting subsidies too frequently then farming and grazing there is clearly not viable. We should not try to be an extra food source for Asia via large food exports at the cost of further wrecking the Australian continent.

    (3) Laws need to be implemented preventing the building of houses in flood prone and fire prone areas. People should not be permitted to build “in the bush” meaning too close to masses of trees. This won’t affect farmers as they build in paddock-surrounded areas and not in the bush. In any case, farmers and graziers know from experience not to site houses next to thickly treed areas.

    (4) New design standards are necessary to make housing more fire resistant. Large, open buffer areas (no bush) need to be implemented around suburbs and towns. Estates with convoluted road systems and multiple cul de sacs need to be discontinued. Perhaps more people will have to build underground homes cut into a hill with turf roofs and fire shutters on the open glassed side.

    Footnote:

    Over the last several years, I have progressively had trees near my house cut down and stumps ground on my little acre and a half. My rule of thumb is that if a tree falls it must not be tall enough to hit the house. I keep grass very short now; I didn’t do that years ago. All ground trash, fallen branches and sticks is regularly cleared and dumped as green waste, even drifts of dead leaves, but not scattered leaves. I defy just about anyone to hand rake an acre and a half, less the house footprint. The trees on the rest of my block are open, not crowded, except in a little gully which has rain forest, not eucalyptus, species planted. I had thought that this was enough to make me safe. Now, I see on the TV what extreme dry and 80 to 90 kph winds can do. I realize I am not safe at all and just relying on the luck of the winds and no fire ignition upwind.

    It’s a new climate regime and the game has changed totally. To match the challenge, we have to change our society completely, our infrastructure completely and our attitudes completely. It’s a climate emergency. It is terrifying but it is also a tremendously exciting opportunity to exert a new leverage from the grass root masses affected by this to radically rebuke and reject our existing elites and to transform our society to save it.

  10. It’s plainly stupid to suggest that Scott Morrison has any responsibility for this year’s horrific fires. It’s perfectly reasonable, though, to suggest he and his policies are going to be responsible for many of the much worse and more numerous fires we’re going to have in 2030, let alone 2050; not all of them, as it’s a worldwide problem, but perhaps 5% of them – 500, say. Two deaths? Three? ‘Arsonist’ is spot on.
    And when I say ‘Scott Morrison’, of course, I mean the people who voted for him. It’s mathematically impossible for a government to be stupider than the people who elected it.

  11. Poselequestion draws our attention to something significant.

    Hazard reduction burning is at its most effective when fire conditions are in the lower to middle range of the Fire Danger Index. In these conditions the fuel load is the most significant factor in fires and also the one which land managers have most scope to control through prescribed burning.

    At the higher ends of the Fire Danger Index (i.e. Extreme and especially Catastrophic) weather and climate take over as the most significant factors driving fire, by a factor of orders of magnitude. Among other things, conditions such as were experienced prior to and on the day of the Black Saturday fires, and conditions such as we are experiencing this spring and summer, turn material that is not usually fuel (and not usually burned in prescribed burns) into fuel.

  12. There was a commenter at Larvatus Prodeo who went by the handle Wilful and who commented very knowledgeably about these issues. It would be good if s/he could join this discussion.

  13. Smith9:

    ‘Summarising,

    “there is one factor that has clearly limited hazard reduction burning”

    yet

    “The rate of burning in NSW has more than doubled”.

    So the fact that there are fewer safe burning days may not have had much of a practical effect.’

    Or it may mean that the NSW Government web page in question is citing an heroic aspiration as a settled fact.

    I looked at the relevant Victorian Government websites on Sunday, quickly tallied the aggregate number of hectares of the many prescribed burns that they are planning for 2019-20, and found that the number adds up to roughly 350,000 hectares. which is not far short of the aspiration of 5 per cent of public lands (or 385,000 hectares) recommended by the Bushfires Royal Commission. Of course it is quite possible that if one researched the fire ecology of all of Victoria’s botanical ecosystems, established the fire cycle for each one, and developed a management plan that included a prescribed burning schedule to maintain the fire cycle and achieve the other higher order objectives of the plan, one might find that the aggregate area to be treated through prescribed burning would roughly coincide with the 5 per cent figure. However I continue to believe that it was a mistake for the Royal Commission to formulate its recommendation in terms of an easily metered output, rather than in terms hazard reduction *outcomes*.

    And, to reiterate: “Planned burning can only be done in very mild and stable weather conditions. These conditions occur in a narrow weather window of five to eight weeks a year in spring and autumn.” This is almost certainly the main reason why I have yet to see a report that the Royal Commissions 5 per cent figure has been achieved in any year.

  14. To be fair, the Prime Minister of the nation has denied there is a connection between higher temperatures and bush fires, while on the other side someone tweeted that Sydney is on fire. So it’s very hard to say who is in the wrong here when the leader of a nation has his blatant lie counter balanced by some rando with internet access.

  15. Ikon hope you stay safe.

    Any Kids? Grandkids? Love. Teachers.

    Ikon said …”also a tremendously exciting opportunity to exert a new leverage from the grass root masses”. 

    Leverage the kids. The kids will be managing the fires in 2030/40, so good to see they are supported not traumatised and feel positive agency towards future challenges – we left to them.

    “Today, with more than 600 schools and colleges closing their doors today due to bushfires in NSW and Queensland, Prof Ebbeck says teachers should be prepared to support children who may have suffered.

    “There are several strategies teachers can use to help children reintegrate into the school environment,” Prof Ebbeck says.

    “We recommend:
    – Checking in with the child’s parents — make sure they have enough of the essentials — food, clothing, and somewhere to stay.
    – Making sure your classroom is safe, both physically and emotionally — familiar and welcoming surroundings create a sense of security and belonging for children.
    – Listening to children — don’t avoid difficult questions. Children are curious and need to work through their worries and concerns.
    – Delivering consistent and predictable routines — children love routines. Having a safe, predictable environment creates stability and security.
    – Checking in on friendships — make sure the child is still engaging with their peers and friendships helps them build confidence, and well-being.
    – Providing opportunities for expression — dramatic play and artwork enable children to freely express and explore their feelings.
    – Maintaining trust- building secure relationships are essential. A trusting, caring environment provides the best basis to build self-esteem and resilience.

    “There’s no doubt the role of the teacher is complex, especially when their students and community are confronted by trauma or disaster.

    “And, while we cannot prevent disasters from happening, understanding more about what teachers can do to prepare for and respond to an emergency situation, can certainly help.”
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/11/191112110229.htm

  16. Ikonoclast

    “Australians need to do some hard thinking.

    (1) Net immigration needs to be slowed to zero until we get our country in order and until we determine what is a reasonable human carrying capacity for Australia.

    (2) Farming and grazing of marginal lands needs to be curtailed. If an area is drought declared and getting subsidies too frequently then farming and grazing there is clearly not viable. We should not try to be an extra food source for Asia via large food exports at the cost of further wrecking the Australian continent.

    (3) Laws need to be implemented preventing the building of houses in flood prone and fire prone areas. People should not be permitted to build “in the bush” meaning too close to masses of trees. This won’t affect farmers as they build in paddock-surrounded areas and not in the bush. In any case, farmers and graziers know from experience not to site houses next to thickly treed areas.

    (4) New design standards are necessary to make housing more fire resistant. Large, open buffer areas (no bush) need to be implemented around suburbs and towns. Estates with convoluted road systems and multiple cul de sacs need to be discontinued. Perhaps more people will have to build underground homes cut into a hill with turf roofs and fire shutters on the open glassed side.\’

    (1) Check.

    (2) We should have already drwn a line or rather at least two lines around this.

    Goyder’s Line moving south with climate change, SA scientists say, forcing farming changes… The imaginary line was first drawn by the surveyor-general to indicate that graziers north of that line would need government support to be able to farm and later became considered the rainfall line across SA…

    A national Goyder Line should be drawn. Inside the line there should be nil taxpayer support of any kind for farming, with commensurate regulation of private agricultural financing. Another line with similar purposes for grazing should be drawn as appropriate further inside such a National Goyder Line.

    (3) Check.

    (4) Check, and implement laws as for (3).

    Footnote:

    … I defy just about anyone to hand rake an acre and a half, less the house footprint.”

    Iko, have you tried a largish blower? If too heavy then backpack or wheeled types are available. As you keep your grass mown short a suitably sized blower will shift leaves, twigs, bark, and smaller sticks readily into windrows/heaps. Small ones are great for clearing roofs and gutters, but do be safe. In any case work with the wind or in no wind conditions.

  17. Okay, but if we are having net zero immigration we need to set some ground rules.

    For example, if one fat person leaves the country, can we bring in three skinny ones?

    Or if a fat omnivore leaves, can we bring in six skinny vegetarians?

    What if a fat omnivore wants to immigrate immigrate into the country, but they are bringing 20 solar panels over in their luggage? What portion of a fat omnivore should leave before we let them in, since they are bringing capital goods with them that will lower their environmental impact?

    Could I sponsor a person to enter the country by installing a solar system or rain water tank or perhaps by scrapping my car and getting a bicycle? Or what if I buy a coal power station and shut it down? That’s gotta be worth hundreds of thousands of skinny vegos.

  18. Vegetarians are going to destroy all our soil, and therefore are bad news for carbon internment. Since they are against integrating animals into our agricultural systems.

  19. GB,
    Human waste could be used as a substitute for cow, pig and goat waste. Not without some cost though as the human waste is going to have to be transported from cities to the country side. But since many other things have to change there should be plenty of labor avialable to make that happen.

  20. Point of clarification,
    Not completely subsitute in the case of Australia as the amount of land far exceeds the amount of people. But in Europe where I live there are lots of people on small amounts of land the distances of travel requried to move wastes is much much smaller.

  21. GB’s stress on the importance of animals in maintaining a healthy sustainable ecological balance seems quite plausible. I wonder what experts in India and Cuba would have to say about this. India is now a net food exporter with 20% of the world populations living on 3 or 4% of the world’s land. Are they doing this sustainably. I read stories about huge numbers of people in India committing suicide.
    I bet that there is a a connection between this rise in productivity and the impoverishment of many small farmers. But that political-economic health is not the same thing exactly as the environmental health.
    In 1850 the planet seemed to be in order, if not the people. There were huge numbers of belching, farting animals at that time spewing out tons of methane.
    We are like to have 9 times as many people soon as we did in 1850. So it would seem that in the short run it is either them (cows, pigs, and sheep) or us. But if GB is right it can not be an either or choice. We humans might have to be look elsewhere for our solutions rather than becoming fanatical vegetarians. OK tar and feather me because I do not want to become a vegetarian.
    But in my defense I think that I could do it if it needed to be done. Indian vegetarian dishes are very tastey.
    Furthermore I have read that one German Shepard causes more global warming that an SUV. If we have to start reducing animal populations we should clearly start with large pet dogs.

    OK for some purists I did not address the issue of the ethics of eating meat. That for me is no problem at all as long as the animals are raised in a 19th centruy manor and killed in a 21st century manor.
    How would I like it if someone wanted to eat me. I would love it actually, if I was dead first.
    In fact I promise anyone who can kill me with a shot to the back of the head or the heart with out my knowledge that it is comming 10,000 dollars. But if your shot is not true and you leave me blind and or paralyzed I am going to sue you. Furthermore getting raised in a 19th century manor might be far more interesting than getting raised in a modern appartment building.
    I am sure that I wrote that already somewhere. But it might still be news to some people.

  22. Ikon, I don’t know if you’ve had any professional advice on your land clearing regime, but that doesn’t sound very safe to me. You’re in a different part of the world from me, so my experience may not be relevant, but here’s a few suggestions.

    Clearing the undergrowth from trees makes them less stable, especially in situations where you’ve had a long dry period followed by heavy rain (less frequent but heavier rain is likely with climate change).

    If you’re in an area where there is a lot of natural bush or flammable trees around, you can get sparks, fire debris (and at least in Victoria, fireballs) running well ahead of the main fire. Having cleared areas all around your house may mean they run right into it (especially if you’re on a slope). Strategically placed low flammability plantings (which can include some native species) may be preferable. Maybe you should get some advice?

    Re your point about immigration, I will just repeat the point I always make about this. Australia’s per capita emission rates are about 10 times higher than they need to be for net zero. Immigration contributes to population growth of around 1% a year. Do the maths. Our first priority is to reduce emissions.

  23. Clearing or thinning is part of the fire management issue – I simply note that this has ambiguous effects on biodiversity and species losses. A complicated problem is to separate out areas of bushland using fire breaks to prevent the spread of fires but to simultaneously allow for wildlife corridors so animal species can move around as they need to do. Presumably, you want continuities but in areas that can readily be fire-managed.

    The loss of human life and property is tragic. So too is the loss of non-human life and non-human property over more than 1 million hectares of NSW bushland. A double tragedy.

  24. In regard to the animal waste story. In Europe and in similar climates animals are shedded during Winter and stand, lie, on high volumes of low grade straw, I have seen bracken used in NE Portugal. The straw constitutes a large proportion of the cereal crop that it was derived from and but is of limited digestibility and use. Urine and faeces convert this material into Muck, Fumier, depending where you live, an extremely high quality fertiliser. It is true that animal manure is of some value when directly deposited on the land, in Spain people pay shepherds to overnight their flocks on paddocks but nothing compares to the cycle illustrated above.

  25. Stricter immigration policies are not a useful suggestion for getting Australia more in order; if anything, they would be more likely to increase disorder in Australia. In any case, a lack of order is not a significant problem in Australia.

  26. Further on the subject of immigration specifically as it relates to bushfires: not many of the people who migrate to Australia settle in areas of high bushfire risk; most of the people who move into areas of high bushfire risk are Australian-born.

  27. “…. most of the people who move into areas of high bushfire risk are Australian-born.” Right but how many of these people are house price refugees. If you want more migrants at least help us reform finance. The banking system we had under Bretton Woods; we got more migrants and everyone just got richer. The banking system we have now we just get poorer with every new migrant. Its a Malthusian system under this no-banker-left-behind welfarism. Clearly you aren’t competing for migrant jobs or you would see this. The amount of times I’ve seen serious retooling working in manufacturing I could count on one hand. Yes the business papers are full of reports of funny money going to all kinds of adventurous undertakings, not necessarily focused around improving operations.

    I cannot understand why people are so happy with subsidised banking. Its really quite sickening. Get banking and other settings right and everyone will be crying out for more workers. Thats not the case now and we really should reduce migration until we sort our act out.

  28. Val – “Immigration contributes to population growth of around 1% a year. Do the maths. Our first priority is to reduce emissions”

    A false binary ‘either or’ choice presents here.

    Rather we could do both, and in fact by so doing do it better. Such rapid population growth rapidly compounds the problems and complicates any solution, whereas population stability/decline reduces the problem easing any solution. Please do the maths – exponential growth or compound interest (Albert E’s greatest universal power. A power for good or bad?) – 60 million plus mouths to feed and water here in just a couple more decades… Yes, do the maths.

  29. Val,

    You make some good points. I used to leave long grass on parts of my block. I have no real idea if these species were/are native or introduced. My guess is mostly introduced. The long grass held the slopes together better which would in turn help the large trees as you point out. Some wildlife liked the long grass better (snakes, mice and rats, the latter two hopefully native) and some liked it less (magpies, plovers). Dry long grass was also a fire risk. Under polite neighborly pressure I began to mow more. With the resultant short, patchy grass, erosion increased, so ultimately this could make large trees less stable for sure.

    When it comes to large trees, I am balancing various risks (inexpertly I am sure). Trees can blow over in very severe storms around my way in a pattern seemingly unrelated to ground cover. Tree health, termite attack and ability or inability to develop deep root systems in rocky ground with bedrock often only about 1 m or less below the surface seem to be bigger factors. Given that, I don’t feel I can tolerate large trees close to my house. If I am depending on large trees and other plantings to stop fireballs and ember attacks, this protection would last about 5 mins in severe or catastrophic conditions I think. It would already be game over. I would need an underground house as I banged on about in my previous post.

    I certainly need to do more on my block. Erosion is becoming an issue. I think I need to continue mulching and getting an under-story (not grass) going under trees. Other plantings as you suggest for open areas would be useful for sure. First, I need some contoured swales across my slope with associated buried rubble pits. These would interrupt and redirect torrents from downpours and store at least some of the water in the buried rubble pits or rubble trenches for said water to slowly percolate down-slope over time. Your recommended plantings and their associated mulching would also soak up some water and hold it for plant use rather than rushing down to the road and taking my thin soil cover with it. I’ll need to hire machinery and labor. A job like that is beyond me these days. Then it becomes a money issue.

    Australia’s fire regime has mutated. What felt or looked safe, now feels and looks unsafe, at least relative to the new catastrophic conditions. It’s not just a new name of course. The phenomenon also may not be entirely new but its increasing frequency is new, at least since European habitation of this continent.

    Immigration is off topic for this thread and a rather fraught topic. My bad for bringing it up. Just briefly, I do advocate ZPG for Australia, balancing inflows with outflows. This would permit new intakes and refugee resettlements up to replacement level for emigration and for any shortfall in natural increase. Such a policy could and should be entirely non-racially based. Admittedly, it would be nativist in a very definite sense. We must remember that first peoples wanting to retain rights, and country, are also essentially nativist. In my view, we cannot consistently advocate nativism and non-nativism in one set of policies.

  30. Such rapid population growth rapidly compounds the problems and complicates any solution, whereas population stability/decline reduces the problem easing any solution.

    Statistically, the fertility rates of migrants tend to converge to those of the countries to which they migrate: thus, one effect of migration from countries with higher fertility rates to countries (such as Australia) with lower fertility rates is to slow global population growth.

  31. Migrants right now mean stagnant and falling real wages. I’m not talking about economic theory, or when economic and particularly money-and-banking are working right. I’m talking right now, the reality on the ground. Its not economic fallacy to say this. Its just conditions on the ground. So what you are asking for is the impoverishment of the country. Since you are putting the migration ahead of money and banking reform.

    The other thing is the issue of diversity. I’m all for diversity. Immigration used to increase diversity. But looking ahead, in the longer run, too much immigration will lead to less diversity. It will lead to the extinction and breeding out of many peoples. And every city will start to look like the same third world cosmopolitan jungle. Its as if we were going to take all the Frisians, the Angus, the Jersey Cow, the Scottish Highlander, and just run them all together, which doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. Its not that mixed-race people aren’t awesome. Its just that their existence is assured and we don’t need to worry about that kind of diversity any more.

  32. J-D, “In any case, a lack of order is not a significant problem in Australia.”

    You have a funny take on the current order and where that’s headless chook-like running to downhill.

    You must be deaf to words now heard every day across the country on high rotation. Words like unprecedented, catastrophic, disaster, unfunded, policy vacuums, lack of planning, emergency, un/under employment, poverty, hunger, denial… These words, as martial powers and funding for cops, spooks, military, and various associated apparatus grow exponentially for police-state-australia where there will be ‘good’ order, like it or not!

    Anyway, Ikonoclast’s point was:

    Australians need to do some hard thinking.
    (1) Net immigration needs to be slowed to zero until we get our country in order and until we determine what is a reasonable human carrying capacity for Australia.

    You say “Stricter immigration policies are not a useful suggestion for getting Australia more in order; if anything, they would be more likely to increase disorder in Australia.” How so? And why continue to rapidly increase population without ascertaining future carrying capacity?

  33. J-D, “Statistically, the fertility rates of migrants tend to converge to those of the countries to which they migrate: thus, one effect of migration from countries with higher fertility rates to countries (such as Australia) with lower fertility rates is to slow global population growth.”

    Even were such a statistic not fraught, the populations you refer to outside Australia and their fertility rates render any slowing of global population growth by migration to countries with lower fertility rates as vanishingly small, as having inconsequential results globally but locking any host countries into the same dire fate the migrants are seeking to dodge. Apart from that common sense implies, fraught statistic or not, migrants tending to converge on host country lower fertility rates matters little if such migrants continue arriving in high numbers without stop, and additionally (ie., additions multiplied by 1st, 2nd, 3rd… generation offspring additions) continue then for some time with high fertility rate cultural heritages before changing that at some indeterminate future time.

    Around this time last year the ABS crunched the predicted numbers for several future migration and population growth scenarios. Notably under bau 100% of Australia’s projected future population growth to a doubling in size by 50 years (50 years is debateable as it’s likely sooner on past ABS predictive performance) will come from immigration. The Productivity Commission found much the same in 2016. Even if NOM were now set to zero the Australian population would increase for another twenty years due solely to migrant fertility rates over some generations before decreasing to the present population size in around 50 years.

  34. Ronald, “Could I sponsor a person to enter the country by installing a solar system or rain water tank or perhaps by scrapping my car and getting a bicycle? Or what if I buy a coal power station and shut it down? That’s gotta be worth hundreds of thousands of skinny vegos.”

    So then, installing a solar system, and tank, and scrapping your car may cover for three sponsored persons. Just how often will you afford to be doing such ongoing installing and scrapping? And how often will your sponsored persons afford to be doing likewise?

    About one coal power station per year at current migration rates is it? How many coal power stations have we? Will you buy and shut down every new coal power station this federal government would like to fund? But even then a lengthy lag time might reasonably be expected before ramping up to commission/decommission one coal power station per year. Meanwhile your skinny vegos have kept on coming and promptly morphing into obese obligate all consuming omnivores… Back to the drawing board for this scheme, I think.

  35. Three points in response to Svante

    You have a funny take on the current order and where that’s headless chook-like running to downhill.

    Of course it’s possible that disorder in Australian society will increase in the future, because anything’s possible; however, whether by historical or by current global standards, Australia now is highly orderly; it may be possible to find examples of even more orderly societies, but not many.

    You say “Stricter immigration policies are not a useful suggestion for getting Australia more in order; if anything, they would be more likely to increase disorder in Australia.” How so?

    Evidence from societies similar to contemporary Australia suggest the possibility that when governments signal that they will make immigration policies stricter, one effect will be that the frequency of hostile behaviour towards visible minority groups will increase: this would count as a decrease, not an increase, in social order.

    Third point: I did not write, and I did not mean, that migration to Australia from countries with higher fertility rates will slow Australian population growth; my point was, and is, that it will slow global population growth (assuming the continuation of past patterns of demographic behaviour).

  36. With regards to fires, trees and houses, while location can influence fire it seems that environmental conditions are the major factor determining the ferocity of the major fires eg Black Saturday, Ash Wednesday and Black Tuesday.

    When high heat, low humidity, diminished moisture content and wind strength combine fireballs can roll along cleared farmland. It’s the uninterrupted expanse of unbury country that gives fire sufficient fetch to be make a firestorm.

  37. I don’t think that it’s reasonable to shift the blame of the current bushfire scenario onto migrants.

    In fact, it’s playing right into the hands of greenie hating NP pollies.

  38. J-D, “Third point: I did not write, and I did not mean, that migration to Australia from countries with higher fertility rates will slow Australian population growth; my point was, and is, that it will slow global population growth (assuming the continuation of past patterns of demographic behaviour).”

    Your point was taken. Whereon I pointed out the delayed, unreliable, and at best vanishingly insignificant effect on global population growth at great cost to host countries.

  39. The conclusion that countries receiving migrants incur a nett cost as a result is not clearly supported by the evidence.

  40. “ Migrants right now mean stagnant and falling real wages
    … I’m talking right now, the reality on the ground.”

    If this were true then countries with a declining population and nett migration outflows have rising wages.

    One country that has minimal to zero migration is Japan and it’s wage growth is in negative figures.

  41. Rog, who is shifting the blame of the current bushfire scenario onto migrants? Above you observe some of the current unprecedented environmental consequences of ongoing climate destruction. In response to the implications of climate destruction ongoing there is a rather sensible call to determine what is a reasonable human carrying capacity for Australia. Not sure what colour greenies you refer to. Perhaps you’ve swallowed some LNP false flag ranting. By far more Greens pollies and Greens voters than NP pollies and NP voters want and overtly call for population to continue rapidly increasing from sky-high migration rates.

  42. Japanese wage growth? For an ageing population increasingly in retirement? Last I heard Japanese per capita GDP continues improving nicely.

  43. J-D, the real world evidence is that countries overpopulate at cost to their natural environment and much else. Also that migration from relatively highly fertile and relatively high population countries, often countries self declared as overpopulated and suffering the ill effects, to countries lower on both counts makes virtually no difference to global population growth.

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