26 October 2013

Wild bush fire-climate links

The current frenzy of linking bush fires in Australia to climate change epitomises climate change hysteria. 
Australian Green MP Adam Bandt was quick to hype the link and even accused Abbott of putting on a fire uniform for a stunt, despite Abbott's longstanding service to the volunteer fire brigade.
Sky News Australia has also given air time to Tim Flannery's axed Climate Council (which annoys me).  Sky News tends to favour AGW despite conspiracy theories that any media outlet Rupert Murdoch owns is biased against it. (I believe Murdoch owns half of Foxtel, maker of Sky News Australia.)

Climate change needs events as pivots on which to focus attention.  Things staying the same doesn't make for interesting headlines. Natural disasters are perfect focal points for climate change hysteria. 
Hence every time there's a tornado, or storm, or flood, or fire, there they are, the activists who say the sky is falling. Every event is a rallying call for action on climate change.  Even earthquakes are a call for climate action to some until it's quietly explained to them on the side by a fellow warmist why earthquakes aren't technically part of the AGW scare.
Cooler heads would say that individual events count for nothing; that trends need to be examined over years and decades.  

But that doesn't stop outlets like the Guardian publishing a flurry of articles linking climate change to increased bush fire risk in Australia and beyond (my pseudonym at the Guardian's Comment is Free is CarbonFooledYa).
There's no evidence that climate change is involved in the present fires occurring in Australia.   There is evidence that fuel loads and human ignition sources such as military munitions, and countless other factors, play a bigger role in fires than climate change.
Tim Flannery said that climate change meant the dams in Australia would all dry up. Today they're full.  The increased rain has meant more fuel to burn. If it really was dry as Flannery predicted, the bush fire risk may have been decreased!

So, it's not at all clear whether climate change will lead to increased fire or decreased fire. 

Yet, to read some of the comments on, for example, the Guardian website, denial of any particular prediction of climate change, such as increased bush fire risk, is tantamount to denial of the whole theory of AGW.  
Here's a comment from a typical Guardianista on a recent Guardian article regarding Tony Abbott's alleged climate change denial:
It's good to have a Prime Minister who knows far more than the majority of the world's scientists. We aren't called "the lucky country" for nothing!Oldwallaseyan
What if AGW was correct, but the particular prediction of increased bush fires is wrong? We don't know what effect climate change will have on bush fires, it may well reduce it. Does the IPCC 95% confidence level of the AGW theory as a whole mean that all of its individual predictions are also correct with 95% confidence?
The IPCC 95% confidence levelTM is apparently like a brand that can be applied to any area warmists desire -- and they do indeed desire to apply it to many areas!
Another comment from the comment section of the above Guardian article:
I feel that climate change has advanced sufficiently to limit the safety of fuel management even in the winter.
Thank you for sharing what you "feel" LakeMacQuarieNSW.  So, global warming is now so severe that we have no time in winter in Australia to do back burning. It must be a living hell outside my window right now, people literally melting in the street...even though I feel quite comfortable with no air-con here in Brisbane, Australia where it's been cooler than average for a few years now -- that's how it "feels" to me.  The La Nina in the Pacific brings cooler temps and rain here.

But apparently it's been the warmest year on record. According to Flannery's Climate Council, Australia just suffered the warmest 12 month period compared to the long term average by 0.17C. Makes you wonder how they measure it and whether things like urban heat island effect are accounted for properly.

And how many times have warmists in official positions been caught adjusting temperature figures upward to suit the global warming narrative?

Anyway, 0.17C doesn't sound that scary, especially when you consider that the "long term average" is merely the period from 1961 to 1990. What makes that particular period of time the temperature gold standard? It's all so arbitrary.
It's similar to the warmist's rhetorical trick of saying that it's: "the hottest decade on record" to indicate an upward trend.  Of course, "hottest decade" is perfectly consistent with a level trend too, which is the trend actually found, but never mentioned by warmists.

Plus, it's a decade that's only about 0.3C hotter than the average that only goes back a few decades -- hardly sounds menacing.


Another disturbing aspect of the Guardian coverage is the focus on the conservative Abbott government in Australia and not other governments around the world.
With Australia emitting less than 2% of global greenhouse gases, why does the Australian government come under particular scrutiny for these Australian bush fires when global warming is supposed to be a global problem?
For example, why is Chinese President Xi Jinping let off the hook when arguably China is contributing far more to the alleged problem of AGW? This is particularly in light of the fact that the Coalition's commitment to reduce emissions (by 5% by 2020 or something) is the same as the previous Labor government anyway.
It's all green porn. Climate catastrophe gives some people the thrill they like and they don't like it when you take away their toy.
Climate change was to be the greatest power grab the left had ever wielded.  And it was supposed to be based on fact. But when the climate facts didn't back up the predictions of catastrophe, the enemy then became the skeptics who were the bearers of this bad news, if you could call the lack of climate catastrophe "bad news".

Most metrics of "global warming" or "climate disruption" haven't shown any worsening trend, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, bad weather, storms, droughts, floods  etc.  One of the few metrics that was going the right way for warmists (which is a actually a very poor metric for global warming) Arctic ice, has now rebounded to some extent. 

Meanwhile Antarctic ice is at an all time high, according to the record since 1979. When NASA describes the Antarctic sea ice record it phrases it saying that it just beat last year's high, without explaining that last year's high was also a record high. But record high doesn't mean that much because satellite  measurements were only first taken in 1979.

If NASA was to emphasise the fact that Antarctic sea ice was at a record high it might undermine their parallel claim regarding the significance of the "record low" of sea ice at the other pole, the Arctic.

Floating sea ice, whether it goes up or down, was never a good measure at all of global warming anyway; what with wind and ocean currents influencing them more than climate. The influence of climate on these factors are speculation at best, like all of climate science.
The bush fire saga has been the perfect storm to highlight how unfounded on reality climate change fears really are.

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