The wildfire season in Australia has been especially bad, in part thanks to arsonists and idiots (but I repeat myself.) The US and other media have been screaming that it is due to anthropogenic climate change, and that everyone’s going to diiiiiieeeeeeeee!!! It is the hottest day/year ever in Australia, and this proves that only reverting to a Third-World standard of living and covering hectares of Australia with solar panels will save the koalas and wombats. And some people too, maybe.
The climate scientist Jo Nova wrote an excellent article about the actual hottest day ever recorded in Australian history. It wasn’t even in the 20th century.
From Jo Nova’s Blog:
Tuesday was Australia’s hottest day on record sayth the Bureau of Meteorology.
And perhaps it was. But look at the temperatures reported in newspapers across the country during the month of January in 1896 when people were going mad with axes, dropping dead in coaches and railway stations and birds were falling lifeless from the trees? Emergency trains were ferrying people from the country to the mountains. Panic stricken people fled the outback on special trains and the death toll was in the hundreds.
Fifty years later scientists would publish papers talking about how Australian summers had cooled since then.
How does the BOM know for sure that it was not hotter on any one of these days? Perhaps they don’t. Wouldn’t it be more honest of the BOM to mention that? It’s not like billions of dollars depends upon it…
Seems the only time the ABC or BOM suddenly discover our historic weather records is when we get unseasonal snow or freezing cold.
Sound Familiar? How often have I groaned about people ignoring historic and even pre-historic meteorological data and data proxies in their efforts to make the climatological past and future do what they want them to do? Frequently.
How bad was it? This bad: “The heatwave started in the West on Jan 1st and travelled eastwards, as most heatwaves do. The hottest day was possibly Jan 23 or 24 in 1896 which is when most of the Eastern States maximum temperatures shown above were recorded. And there are hints that this was both widespread and long — some of these towns recorded three long weeks of ultra high temperatures close to and over 110F (43.3C) like Nannine in WA (near Meekatharra) and Cunnamulla in Qld. Both reported peaks as high as 120F (48.8C). In Bourke temperatures were above 102F (38.9C) for 24 days in a row.” [end quote]
Anyone who’s gotten to “enjoy” 40C for a day or more knows how miserable it is. And we have modern technology to ease things (sometimes. Europe in a heat-wave is still miserable, because they don’t do hot-weather climate control.) And people were wearing Victorian clothes (heavier materials, more of them), in houses that had less insulation (Queen Anne-style ovens in some cases). The solution, as the article describes, included evacuating populations out of the worst afflicted regions. Even the native wildlife was dropping dead from the heat.
The point is, it is not really record heat. Even if you argue that people didn’t all have the modern white boxes on stilts, and the Victorian-era thermometers were not all sited per international standards, it was still blazing (literally) hot. The modern wildfires are hideous, and a goodly portion of the blame for that falls square in the lap of the local, state, and national governments. You can be sent to jail for clearing a fire-break around your property in some areas. Environmental activists have demanded an end to controlled burns (even though the Aboriginal peoples used fire as a land management tool), allowing fuel loads to build up to dreadful levels. Planting things like eucalyptus, which has so many volatiles that the trees sometimes explode in fires (yes, just like in CA, USA), in urban and densely settled suburban areas . . . That’s not “natural,” it is indeed man-caused, and the voices that tried to speak reason got shouted down for the good of the planet. Or some such balderdash.
I hate seeing the pictures of the fires, of people killed, houses destroyed, wildlife charred and smoking or still alive and so badly burned that mercy demands shooting them. I detest people who claim that this is caused by people in the US or elsewhere driving pick-ups or air-conditioning our houses and having nice things. No. It is a natural process combined with criminal mis-management of “nature.”
Fire is part of the ecosystems of Australia, just as it is on the Great Plains of North America and was part of the ecosystem in what is now California. Summers get hot. Yes, we are warmer than in 1620 (thanks be to G-d!). We are cooler than in 1120, or 2000 Years before Present (aka the Roman Warm Period.) We are cooler, planet-wide, than we were in 1998.
So when the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) or the US CNN, NBC, or whoever complains about global warming toasting Australia, don’t believe them.