Puss and the professor

wa bushfire frequency

When the alarm went off this morning, there was a strange comfort to be found in the voice of Radio National’s Fran Kelly, who normally inspires only the thought that, if the ABC is spending $255,400 a year to secure the services of a very silly woman, my cat must be worth half-a-million at least. Puss also enjoys RN first thing in the morning, as the radio’s coming to life signals it is time for breakfast. Yowling from the foot of the bed, the creature was putting honest greed and self-interest to the fore, as is the way of cats. Fran Kelly, on the other hand, was placing her microphone at the service of others’ greed and self-interest, in this instance Tim “It’ll Never Rain Again” Flannery’s Climate Council, which has just released a shock! horror! report asserting that man-made climate change is making bushfires worse and more frequent.

Ah, the relief! After airwaves dominated for days post-Paris with the usual stories about backlashed Muslim ladies in hijabs, the baseless vileness of Islamophobia and the curious assertion that ISIS actually wants the West to attack it in force (and that is why we should leave them to rape, murder and pillage in peace), Ms Kelly was operating once again, as usual, on behalf of the alarmist rent-seekers and their lucrative scam. Those ISIS butchers might think they can change our way of life, but Ms Kelly is the proof that they are wrong. Given half a chance and a moment to collect what pass for  thoughts, she and her ABC colleagues will skate resolutely past the real threat in order to promote an imaginary one.

The Climate Council’s oddly re-assuring tract is a model of its kind. Slick, glossy, chart-speckled and dripping with grim warnings, it became the hook on which subsequent ABC news reports throughout the morning were hung, the oft-repeated insight being that the bushfires which have been raging in the southern corner of Western Australia are a consequence of man-made climate change. In bulletin after bulletin, nary a sceptical question was posed to the parade of warmists capitalising on the tragedy, which has so far claimed four lives. The guests’ stock-in-trade was that November fires in the West are beyond rare, therefore the smoke over Esperance is all the proof one could need that it must be mankind’s doing.

Rare? Not according to the WA government, which has published this document on fire frequency in the state. Atop this post is a chart (click to enlarge) from that same document. Notice the blue line, the one that scoots up a Himalayan gradient in the final weeks of the year? That line represents the fire incidence in the state’s southwest, so while the current fires are terrible and the loss of life appalling, it seems there is nothing unusual about their timing or intensity.

Climate Council member Professor Lesley Hughes, a very comfortably settled scientist and co-author of the report, must have an extraordinarily discerning eye. She can be certain, apparently, that the trace gas CO2 has laid waste a swathe of Western Australia, yet she overlooks the official numbers that demolish her alarmism. An innocent oversight, no doubt.

Meanwhile, if Mark Scott calls to offer my cat a radio gig, he will be best ignored. Why settle for a Radio National microphone and a mere $250,ooo salary when Puss has an even greater capacity to whine and howl, not to mention a sharper appetite for others’ generosity, than a warmist Macquarie University professor?

— roger franklin

The WA report on fire frequency, timing and causes an be read in full via the link below

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