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Posted by: silvergenie ( )
Date: January 01, 2020 05:17AM

Australia is burning. In Mallacoota, a little coastal town in the Gippsland area of Victoria, 4000 people are stranded on the beach.

211 kilometres away (131 miles) another little town called Buchan (well known here for its caves) was completely encircled by fires and several hundred people were reportedly camped in the football ground and local pub, including my firefighting son-in-law who, until tonight had not been heard from for several days.

With Christmas, New Year and school holidays in full swing these towns are a great attraction for tourists and from several reports over 30,000 tourists and 45,000 local residents were evacuated from these areas before the roads were closed.

In the meantime, my brother who lives at Lake Burrill 330 kilometres (205 miles) north of Mallacoota in New South Wales, had fires come to within 1 kilometre (about half a mile) of their house and were without power and landline communication for several days.

The fires mentioned above are only a small proportion of the fires burning in every one of our six states and according to ecologists at the University of Sydney estimate that over 480 million mammals, marsupials, birds and reptiles have been lost in the fires since September 2019.

According to Microsoft news, The Australian Red Cross, St Vincent De Paul Society and The Salvation Army are organisations that are helping communities across the country devastated by bushfires.

No mention of the Mormon Church of course. No doubt when all the hard work has been done by other organisations, members of the one true church on earth will don their yellow helping hand vests, daub a little ash on their faces and walk through the ruins posing for photo shoots as they hand out their little hygiene bags.

What a missed opportunity for some real publicity, what a missed opportunity to show that they are truly a “Christian” church. Or is it? Maybe some of the higher up mucky-mucks will don their yellow vests and pose for a photo shoot as they hand over a cheque for $10 million dollars. That’s surely not a great deal when you have $100 billion stashed in your back pocket.

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Posted by: macaRomney ( )
Date: January 01, 2020 07:14AM

Saddly the last thing the corp of the president will do is hand over a "check for $10 million." But if the Aussies want some feminine hygiene kits or homemade sock puppet dolls, I'm sure some ward in Kaysville has a relief society stash they can send over?

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: January 01, 2020 09:15AM

Seeing images of the fires there is horrible.

Thank your son in law from a stranger for fighting the fires. He must be exhausted.

Seeing koala bears impacted on the news had me misty eyed. I'm sad for the loss of property, plants and animals.

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Posted by: oldpobot ( )
Date: January 01, 2020 09:39AM

The scary thing is that it is only 1 January - most of our worst fires are usually in Jan/Feb. More extreme weather is expected in 48 hours and the challenge is to get all the trapped holiday-makers out of the way before then. More villages and towns will burn.

I have friends who have lost their farm, and other friends who have been trapped on a beach without supplies, power or a road out.

Politicians are still trying to work out how to respond with new climate policies. It won't be long before they are forced to by popular opinion (until the drought ends and we are dealing with floods).

These events are affecting heavily populated areas, especially with pervasive smoke. Climate change is getting harder and harder to ignore.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 01, 2020 01:40PM

I've been thinking about you and our other Aussie board members a lot lately, basically every time I hear more about the infernos. I hope you all are safe.

As for the politics of the situation, yes eventually people will demand action. But changing the course of the climatic Titanic will take many decades; things will continue to worsen long after policy changes.

Much suffering born of continuing willful ignorance.

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Posted by: oldpobot ( )
Date: January 02, 2020 04:33AM

Indeed, LW. But events like this will start to convince the voters to demand some real action - then at least the debate can start as to what that action should be! One thing we need more of bipartisan political action, so that the party which promotes a good, but challenging, approach does not get shot down immediately by the other side appealing to base motives at the next election.

Thanks to you and others for your kind thoughts. Will keep you posted.

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Posted by: Beth ( )
Date: January 02, 2020 11:56PM

The PM goes on vacay in Hawaii, and New South Wales's emergency services minister was on holiday in Europe. "The Sydney Morning Herald reported that he said he would return 'if the bushfire situation should demand it.' ”

I enjoyed the man yelling at your PM. " 'You won’t be getting any votes down here, buddy,' one man yelled. 'You’re out, son.' ”

TWELVE MILLION ACRES burnt or ablaze.

Is it true that most of the firefighters are volunteers?

For those in the US (sorry - I don't know how to get behind the paywall):

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Posted by: silvergenie ( )
Date: January 01, 2020 04:18PM

Yes, February is usually our hottest month, but what is scary is that we were starting to get bush fires back in September which here in Victoria is usually our wettest month.

There is no doubt the climate is changing. Forty-three years ago when I moved into this historic little country town in north-eastern Victoria it was not unusual for it to snow regularly during winter although the snowfalls were never very heavy and usually didn't lay around for more than a day.

The last time it snowed here was around 2001,when we had our heaviest fall in 91 years which broke branches off several of our trees and the snow lay around for about five days - Almost like Mother Nature saying "Here make the most of it while you can, I'm retiring."

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: January 01, 2020 09:56AM

but it was a HUGE number. It makes you sick when you know that the church is sitting on all that money and they have members in Australia and, even if they didn't, where are they? They claim charitable contributions and often it is out of members' pockets making those hygiene kits.

A good friend of mine, ex-wife of someone gay, is over there visiting her daughter and son-in-law and grandkids.

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Posted by: silvergenie ( )
Date: January 01, 2020 03:19PM

Ecologists at Sydney University estimate 480,000 mammals, marsupials, birds and reptiles have died since September when some of the fires started. They also fear that some species with low populations may have now become extinct. I hope your friend is keeping safe.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/2020 03:23PM by silvergenie.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: January 01, 2020 05:18PM

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Posted by: stillanon ( )
Date: January 01, 2020 11:08AM

It's so sad. My kid is in Perth right now. She was at the Origin Fields music fest. Was scuba diving in the Indian Ocean a few days ago. She had to fly into Sidney to change planes to get to Perth. She said it was so smokey that it looked like LA x 10 with
smoke. Most people have no idea how widespread the fires are. It's like the US eastern seaboard down to the FL Keys and the top of the Midwest would be on fire here. There's even fires across the country near Perth.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/2020 11:10AM by stillanon.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: January 01, 2020 01:27PM

I'd skip sad and go straight to terrified. This is starting to look like an annual event. If that's true, I don't know how forests or even scrub land will survive.

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Posted by: Topper ( )
Date: January 01, 2020 03:21PM

One wonders how many of those fires are being set. There are a lot of crazies out there.

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Posted by: oldpobot ( )
Date: January 02, 2020 04:28AM

There's always a few arsonists involved. But a lot of these fires are set by dry lightning and also by ember attack. the embers can fly up to 10 miles ahead of a fire in strong winds. Everything is so dry that fires start very easily.

On Saturday, temps will be up to 43 C (110F or more) in areas already surrounded by massive fires. A huge evacuation effort is under way so that people can be out of the way when the fires roar in again. Many more towns will be consumed.

I feel a bit guilty sitting in Perth under beautiful clear skies.

This won't happen every year, but under climate change, dry countries get dryer and hotter, so that the frequency of unpleasant events rises. In the US I guess that means floods and hurricanes, as well as wildfires in California.

Meanwhile, the politicians are holding the convenient line that we should focus on managing the disasters, rather than contemplate difficult longer term decisions.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: January 02, 2020 08:21AM

How do we sleep while our beds are burning?

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Posted by: Beth ( )
Date: January 02, 2020 11:56PM

Too soon.

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