tempus fugit

By ceridwen

Scorched earth

This hill caught fire last spring and all the gorse and heather burnt off. It's already regenerating (extra) but for the time being it's possible to walk where  previously it was too prickly.      

I've been finding out about bush fires  in Australia after reading that  climate crisis deniers are attributing  the present conflagration to the environmental lobby which, in the interests of animal protection,  in recent years has put a stop to 'back burning'. This is the practice of setting fire to brash, the low thicket or scrub  beneath the trees, so that it doesn't act as tinder and allow fire to spread rapidly. By containing fires they can be dealt with quickly and effectively before they get out of hand. Should it be allowed or is it too destructive to wildlife?

Indigenous people also used controlled burning as a form of land management.  Bush fires are a way of life in Australia. Many trees and bushes are adapted to resist incineration.  Aboriginal people employed a technique known as cultural burning or fire-stick farming which improved the fertility and preserved the biodiversity of the land. They used 'cool fire' which burned superficially and allowed wildlife to escape and forest to survive. Now there's a call for a return to these traditional practices and  to care for the land in a more  sensitive and knowledgeable fashion again.

Here, a professor of "pyrogeography and fire science",  points out that far from the current bush fires being 'normal', they are happening at shorter intervals than ever before,  only 15 years between them instead of a century.
 "And this increasingly frequent fire activity is completely consistent with what climate modelling was suggesting. The whole system is moving to a world that is hotter, drier, and with more frequent fire activity. It’s what was forecast and it’s what is now happening."

And yet climate crisis denial persists in the face of catastrophic loss of human and animal life,  of people's homes, communities and livelihoods and despite the highest temperatures ever recorded.

If anyone has views and opinions on this whole confusing and distressing situation I'd like to hear them. 


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