Thursday, January 02, 2020

Not a great start to 2020

As was forecast the fire situation has been horrendous. Disastrous days merge in one's mind as the fire threat and disaster drags on and has for a couple of months or more. This simply has not happened before, no matter how the conservative press try list bad fires in Australia and say it is nothing new. Areas that have never been burnt, normally damp old growth forests have been burnt and are unlikely to recover.

It is unfair to blame our Prime Minister for the fires. It is very fair to blame especially his and previous governments on both sides over a lack of action on climate change. Australia is using smoke and mirror accounting to meet our climate emission targets and was complicit in the failed Madrid conference. While whatever we do in a country of 25 million won't make much of difference, it will enable us to take the moral high ground and pressure other countries. Our greenhouse emissions per person is very high. We can hardly lecture the climate change villains such as the US, India and China when we are not taking appropriate action ourselves, let alone tell smaller countries, don't do as we have but do as we say.

PM Morrison is being very mean spirited by paying New South Wales volunteer fight fighters some money if they are employed and not those from interstate, and not those who may have had social security payments cancelled as they fight fires and can't attend job interviews etc. I don't agree with volunteers fire firefighters being paid, but recompense for some of their expenses and of course they should have adequate equipment, accommodation and food.

Ensuring a food and water supply for fire affected towns is the job of government, not charities.

It seems like PM Morrison has used up any political capital he had, but then a week can a long time in politics.

What would you do if faced with this? At least the fire is visible. What about if it is complete darkness from smoke? Photo by Brett Dawson.


I have a question for you though. At what age do you stop falling over and instead take a fall? While I certainly wasn't sober New Year's Eve, I was quite sober when we had coffee in Swanston Street New Year's Day. As R went in to order our coffee, I went to claim the sole vacant table and tripped over. Fortunately I was holding R's newly bought mattress protector in front of me and it broke my fall, and  I only hit my head, so that is quite ok as R said. A nice young Asian student bloke helped me up and a woman at the adjacent table asked if I was ok, and offered to get a serviette when I discovered I was bleeding a little. R then offered comforting words; You need to effing well look where you are going. He did later ask if I was sure I was ok.


Yeah, nah, not a great start to 2020. I have face planted before when I tripped over wires, just as Strayer did.

36 comments:

  1. Sadly the next week is also looking ugly. My heart aches and I am endlessly grateful to the (mostly volunteer) firefighters. And they should most definitely not be out of pocket.
    I am sorry you face planted (been there, done that) and hope that it is ok. And heals quickly.

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    1. EC, it is not looking good for next week at all. Please rain heavily.

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  2. We've all been there. At least you were sober. I cannot imagine what it must be like living so close to those fires. With no likelihood of rain in the near future things are looking grim.

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  3. Oh, for Christ's sake!!! Blame! Blame! Blame! If charities are willing to give aid...what the hell is wrong with that? That is what charities are for! Government, charities...you, me...him over there...her there...we're all here to help...and help we should/must in whatever way we can! Nit-picking and whingeing don't, and won't solve a thing!

    Maybe The Greenies have been allowed to have too much say! They're full of hot air!

    Horror and sorrow surround...

    You were very lucky you didn't hurt yourself badly when you fell. It is so easy to do...so sudden and unexpected. Take care.

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    1. Lee, apparently The Greenies weren't given too much to say if what I read is correct, that is many local residents of a fire affected town asked if The Greenies had prevented fire prevention burns and all said they hadn't. 
      I believe charity is for extra non essential things, not basic essential services and the like.
      Yes, lucky to only have a bit of wounded pride. I must be more careful.

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  4. I have found my balance is not what it once was. Do you suppose if I strengthen my leg muscles I could regain the balance? I hope you recover quickly.
    I recall falling one time on ice and Jack stood there looking at me all sprawled on the ground and he said, "What did you do that for?"
    I have been tempted to say the same to him now that he falls regularly, but I keep my lips zipped.

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    1. Maribeth, I have some recall of how older people can maintain their balance but I forgot exactly what is was. Yes, sometimes we have keep our mouths shut.

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  5. Was there something specific that you tripped over? Edge of a table leg or something? Or just one of those moments where you take a step but your foot doesn't? I have that sometimes, I'll take a sideways step or maybe turn around and my foot doesn't get the message and stays glued to the floor. Luckily I'm able to regain the balance without falling 99% of the time and I've learned to make those movements more slowly, which is annoying, but safer.
    I agree there is a need for more climate change action, but that won't make any difference to lightning strikes and arsonists.

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    1. River, it was a raised edging area around a tree. I know they are there and for some reason I just didn't remember or see it.

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  6. I'm thinking that in normal times perhaps volunteer firefighters are just that - volunteers, who should have expenses covered - but are these normal times? Is this what they signed up for? I wouldn't blame them for feeling underappreciated if they are working to the point of exhaustion with no end in sight, doing critical work. I'm not trying to nitpick; in times like this everybody has to work together. But fair is fair.

    Good thing your fall was not worse, Andrew. It takes so little to cross the line from minor to major as we age, I find.

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    1. Jenny, that is what they are doing, working to the point of exhaustion and our smarmy PM says, they want to be there. They are happy to be volunteer firefighters and do their bit for the public, but this extended period of fires is unknown. We also have professional fire fighters too. I think US and Canadian firefighters have now arrived here to relieve the volunteers a bit. Yes, I must be more careful.

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  7. The current crop of troglodytes in government at the moment just don't get it. They don't know or understand that the taxes paid by citizens are to be used for the betterment of all the people. Only now are they calling in the defence force to provide substantial practical help ! I really think the people who are being evacuated tonight and tomorrow from Malacoota are climate change refugees.
    I hope you recover quickly from the fall.

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    1. Cheryl, you are someone of the land and I wouldn't be surprised if you support our government, but you don't. You have practical foresight and know things must change. I just realised my arm is a little bruised too, but really, I got off lightly.

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  8. Yup a recent face plant for me too, and now you. I didn't get a cut at least. Hope you are ok. It is easy to trip with so many things "in the way" of my feet. The fire situation is so frightening even from here. The volunteers should at least get equipment food and lodging. Of course! They're putting their lives on the line. I'd open my home to any fire fighter fighting fires around this town and feed him or her.

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    1. Strayer, R complains that I am always kicking things with my feet. I must be more aware I think. Good to open your home to firefighters, except if they are in your town, you are at risk and should leave.

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  9. I dislike that expression 'had a fall'; it should always be 'fell over'. These days I tend to tumble in the woods, the brambles grow very low to the ground and are always on the look-out for a careless foot!

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    1. Cro, so do I dislike the phrase, but ah, you take a tumble......same thing.

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  10. Andrew take care, The situation looks terrible. Climate changed here we have any winters.

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    1. Thanks Gosia. You are not having winters? I see that.

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  11. I would love to backtrack time and drop that fat bastard right in the middle of Mallacoota, in the blackness of smoke and no idea which way to safety.
    It appears I may be close to getting a ban on Twitter, must watch my language but I am swearing for my country.

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    1. Gosh Jah Teh, you haven't been on Twitter for long and already you are threatened with being banned. Well done you.

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  12. I won't quote the grim statistics on falls and older adults, watch your step. That seems far to large of a fire area for volunteers, I hope a worldwide response is on it's way.

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    1. Travel, we do have professional firefighters too. I believe firefighters from the US, Canada and New Zealand are here helping, as we do in return.

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  13. I can only comment on your fall, fortunately you didn't hurt you more.
    A elderly blogfriend from Sidney was very angry about your governement because they allowed to built houses in areas which had been since centuries an attraction for fires. That her grandpa already talked about terrible fires but nobody lived there at that time. She is in her 70th.

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    1. Gattina, it has always been the case that people build houses in high risk areas. New houses in fire prone areas now have to have a very high fire safety rating.

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  14. I hope that fall is not indicative of the year ahead for you (and Oz). I can't bear seeing the photos and the extinction of wild life and the suffering of so many innocent animals not to mention the brave fire fighters, they deserve every penny, every compensation. Is ScoMo still on the beaches of Hawaii? He's a disgrace.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. No he is home. Telling those affected by the fires to be calm and patient. A message which was (unsurprisingly) not well received by those in one of the fire affected towns he visited. A town where lives, homes and businesses were lost, and where food, water and fuel are in short supply.

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    2. WWWW, the animal loss is just too awful to contemplate. We have a new name for our PM, #ScottyFromMarketing.

      EC, see how calm and patient he would be if his house burnt to the ground, or he suddenly lost all of his income.

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    3. Or even if he was left in one of the fire zones without nothing more at his disposal than those who live there.

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  15. Anonymous8:21 am

    The whole concept of CFA volunteers needs to be addressed. I am not being anti-migrant, but IMO Australia is overcrowded already. There has been a lot of talk about migrants moving to the country but this will only push more and more to stay in the cities, where house prices are totally out of the reach of many already.

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    1. Anon, I think you are possibly right about the CFA and a rethink is needed if there are going to be periods of sustained fire. Our population growth by whatever means is absurd and I have mentioned it many times in the past.

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  16. Let's hope you get some rain and lots of it. The volunteers are working way beyond any expectation and should be given some compensation. They must be exhausted.
    It is so easy to trip over something, it's been a couple of years (TG) since I faceplanted. It is always such a shock!

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    1. Jackie, as I recall our terrible 2009 fires were put out by floods. Don't we think we are so stupid after faceplanting.

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  17. Well, here's hoping the other 364 days go all right for you.

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    1. Kirk, up to the 3rd here now and so far so good.

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