Uncommon Sense

November 28, 2021

Burning

Last night I saw a documentary, aptly titled “Burning,” on the massive fire season experienced by Australia in 2019. Australia is well acquainted with fires, but in the past never had more than about 5% of the “Bush” burned in any one season. In 2019, over 20% of the Bush burned, including rainforests which had never burned in human knowledge because they were “too wet.”

The footage was heartbreaking, not because so many lost their homes, but also because billions of wild animals died from smoke inhalation and by burning. I cannot get an image of a koala with its fur on fire out of my mind.

Before during and after all of this, the Australian government, described as “right-leaning” by the very right-wing media, so, hard right is probably the best label for it, denied climate change was a factor and blamed the large number of fires happening concurrently on arsonists. (Rupert Murdock is from Australia, no?)

I wonder is any public person challenged these claims of “arson” by politicians and news readers by asking questions like: “How do you know this?” and “If you have knowledge of acts of arson, you need to turn in those arsonists now, so do you? Do you have actual knowledge or are you just blowing smoke?”

The same pols and news readers/commenters also claimed that climate change had nothing to do with the burning of the entire continent. Similarly: “How do you know this?” “What are your sources?” etc. are questions that should have been asked. (They might have been but considering the state of the media, I suspect not.)

Also, nowhere in all of the presentations was there any mention of where the politicians involved got their donations? “Follow the money” is a time worn aphorism that is as true today as it was when first spoken, but the documentarians didn’t mention political money at all. Possibly there is a cultural taboo associated with talking about political money, or the documentarians wanted to avoid the controversy involved which would take away from their message. People should be able to put two and two together.

At the end, the statement was made that the average atmospheric temperature increase due to global atmospheric warming has been 1.1 degrees Celsius. Australia, however has experience a 1.5 degree Celsius increase and could be a harbinger of things to come. They made a comparison of the awful fire seasons experienced in places like California, where 14+ million acres burned. Other catastrophes were listed, most smaller. Australia saw 59 million acres burn in its fires. Can you imagine what California would be like were it to experience fires of the same magnitude.

Of course, when the ultraconservative government was petitioned for more firefighters and fire equipment in advance as all of the signs indicated would be a very bad fire season, they stood pat. Actual, we don’t know what they did as they didn’t reply to the request, even to say “no.”

And, in Ted Cruz fashion, the Prime Minister went off to holiday in Hawaii during the middle of the catastrophe. His justification was that he wasn’t going to be holding a shovel of a hose, so he was not needed.

I don’t know whether to be relieved or disgusted that Trumpian troglodytes exist all over the planet.

9 Comments »

  1. Yes my relatives in Australia despair of their politicians and especially the PM – they just did not listen to fire experts, any experts and certainly not to the original inhabitants who managed to look after the continent for many millennia.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by tidalscribe.com — November 28, 2021 @ 11:50 am | Reply

  2. I cannot get an image of a koala with its fur on fire out of my mind.

    For me it’s a burnt baby roo tangled up on a barbed wire fence. Simply awful, and it will never leave my head.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by john zande — November 28, 2021 @ 1:24 pm | Reply

    • You commented a number of times on the Aussie government but I didn’t understand until I saw them in action. Now I understand. Truly deplorable.

      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 29, 2021 @ 10:18 am | Reply

      • Presently, they’re not the most competent lot, but they’re traditionally not taken global seriously. The biggest exporter of coal to China is in bloody parliament, and he’s worked himself into a sort of semi-King Maker position.

        Drives me crazy politicians not seeing the opportunity that’s being presented.

        Like

        Comment by john zande — November 29, 2021 @ 10:44 am | Reply

        • You are not alone. The next generations are eventually going to vote and I don’t think they will still be voting for the same stooges.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — November 29, 2021 @ 10:51 am | Reply

  3. I suspect the documentarians didn’t start digging into the money trail because it’s damned hard to do so these days. The politicians, the PACs, the “special interest groups”, organizations like WILL (Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty) here in my state and others like them are difficult to pin down when it comes to funding. If you do start digging you’ll find that their funding sources generally come from still other organizations, some of which exist solely to funnel money to extremist groups. They, in turn, get their funding from other sources, which get their funding from other sources… You get the idea. Often you’ll run into dead ends because a lot of these organizations hide their real funding sources thanks to laws passed specifically to protect them because politicians use them as slush funds and unaccountable attack dogs to go after their opponents.

    I spent my spare time over the course of several days trying to track down who, exactly, was behind a particularly nasty generic attack ad against democrats that was running on a local radio station. And when I say nasty, I mean seriously nasty. The trail led through a half dozen different phony “foundations”, (some of which apparently were little more than a UPS store drop box or post office box with no real offices or employees) special interest groups, political action groups which distribute funds from still other organizations. What I found was, basically, a huge money laundering operation intended to deliberately obfuscate where the money came from and who was actually responsible for the content of the ad. I did eventually discover that it seemed that much of the funding was coming from an organization which got its seed money from a certain well known wealthy person who has a history of funding anti-voting rights, anti-labor union, anti-climate change organizations. No, I’m not going to give a name because the connections are sketchy, filtered through literally dozens of different organizations, some of which seem to be legal fictions and don’t actually exist… You get the idea

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by grouchyfarmer — November 29, 2021 @ 7:33 am | Reply

    • Yeah, money is political speech but most of these folks do not want to be heard. I have suggested that all political money has to be raised “in district” and if any is not, all paids have to be labeled “Paid for by Outsiders.” Of course, all Americans are “in District” when it comes to presidential elections, but with regard to all of the others, why should people who are not affected by a politician’s actions have any say as to which politician gets elected. Currently, out of state money can determine senatorial elections, House elections, referendums, etc. Which is just wrong. If a candidate can’t raise money in district, that is a kind of vote and they are stealing our votes.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 29, 2021 @ 8:02 am | Reply

      • I agree and that’s something I’ve proposed myself. Since politicians are supposed to be the representatives of the people who elected them, only the voters in their district should be able to contribute funds to their campaigns or try to influence an election. No one from outside the district should be permitted to contribute money or run advertising attempting to influence an election. If I remember right during the Scott Walker recall effort a few years ago something like 40% of the money spent supporting Walker came from outside of the state. In the last election for a judge to the state supreme court about 30% of the funding came from outside sources. Even more if you dig into the “black money” sources that aren’t required to make public where they get their funding. When it comes to generic attack ads which don’t specifically reference a particular politician or candidate, from what I’ve been able to track down virtually all of the funding for those seems to be coming from out of state.

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by grouchyfarmer — November 29, 2021 @ 10:14 am | Reply

      • Why? Because M.O.N.E.Y. talks. But you already know that. 🙂

        Like

        Comment by Nan — November 29, 2021 @ 10:27 am | Reply


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