Monday, August 02, 2010

Black Saturday fires: People not green ideology

Following the devastating bushfires in Australia a year and a half ago a Royal Commission has finally delivered a verdict and makes 67 recommendations. One aspect of the fires was that they were exacerbated by legislation. Legislation driven by a green agenda. Legislation that stated that all someone could legally clear around their house was a 6 metre firebeak designed to help biodiveristy and protect native eucalyptus.

This was highlighted at the time by the case of Liam Sheahan, a Victoria farmer who had cleared land around his farm, and had been hit by legal bills totalling upwards of $100,000 (Aus).
His comment at the time seems to have been vindicated,

He said the royal commission on the fires must result in changes to planning laws to allow land owners to clear trees and vegetation that pose a fire risk.
"Both the major parties are pandering to the Greens for preferences and that is what is causing the problem. Common sense isn't that common these days," Mr Sheahan said.

Admittedly he was slighted cussed at the time,

"the Sheahans told the complaining residents and the council to ‘‘get stuffed’’ when asked to explain the clearing. ‘‘We could not care any less than we do now what any self-righteous self ap-pointed ‘green police’ person thinks about what we are doing,’’ they wrote. ‘‘It is our place, not theirs. We have owned it since 1982. We paid for it, not them, and they can go and get stuffed.’
However his position seems to have been vindicated.

Even in the horrific aftermath of the fires some people had started questioning the Green based policies as noted by Richard North
You do not have to look very hard to find any number of papers on the causes of major forest fires, not least this one, published by the FAO, this one written in the aftermath of the spate of fires in France in 1995, and this one co-published by global warming evangelists WWF. That one is especially interesting, as it points to the failure of forest management as a primary cause of fires.

Needless to say, the greenies are jumping on the global warming bandwagon but the more prosaic truth is that they, themselves bear a great deal of responsibility for this tragedy.
And he highlighted an article in the SMH which was blunt in its response,
It wasn't climate change which killed as many as 300 people in Victoria last weekend. It wasn't arsonists. It was the unstoppable intensity of a bushfire, turbo-charged by huge quantities of ground fuel which had been allowed to accumulate over years of drought. It was the power of green ideology over government to oppose attempts to reduce fuel hazards before a megafire erupts, and which prevents landholders from clearing vegetation to protect themselves.
And now 18 months later the Royal Commission delivers its verdict. And it appears that it has at least in part listened.

When The Australian finishes its editorial today,
"There is no excuse for not acting -- especially on the recommendations that put human life above abstract ideas of biodiversity."
One question strikes me, currently the Green vote is holding up quite well in Victoria, at 15%. After the results of the Commission get publicised, and the blame is apportioned, will that vote hold up, and where will it go - to Labour? Or to the coalition which seems to be gaining ground across the board.

This weekend I spoke to somebody who can only be described as centre left intelligencia in Australia, and even they were starting to think about supporting the cioalition. Interesting times indeed.

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