Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe…


“We could be here for a month!” Jeff’s words over the phone, from atop the fire truck, because that was the only place he had mobile phone service. He and both our boys, along with other volunteers, are containing/monitoring a fire that is smouldering its way through a huge pile of cotton trash at a nearby cotton gin.

The wind here, like elsewhere in NSW, is gusting between 30 and 50 kms an hour, according to the Bureau of Meteorology which, thankfully, is not what Victoria experienced last night. It does mean however that the smouldering cotton trash, even though it is deemed under control, will have to be monitored for a considerable time. Particularly if the total fire ban continues.

The NSW Rural Fire Service website shows a multitude of fires along the coast and other locations, most listed as under control, but several are out of control and I hope they can be contained soon with no more loss of property, or worse.

All of this makes me think about the fact that summer has not even, officially, started yet and I am wondering what else is in store for us as the thermometer rises. It also makes me speculate which side of the fence I should alight (pardon the pun) to, regarding climate change.

In the big scheme of things my 50+ years are a millisecond in time. So, are the storms, droughts, floods, winds, fires, red and orange sunrises/sunsets going to get worse, or is my memory playing tricks and I forget how bad they were in my past? Is my past even long enough to be considered any sort of gauge, I think not.

The “experts” tell us it’s happening and we have to act, but its part of science and human nature to question everything. I question what it will take to make the sceptics, myself included; get off, or over, the fence.

Oh the problems of the universe….too big for me and far easier to procrastinate on making a decision  in favour of concentrating on more immediate issues, like; food for the men in yellow suits watching the smouldering heap and wondering if the roof will stay attached to my house!

Good luck to all the fire fighters for what could be a long, volatile summer, stay safe and know that we appreciate every one of you.

5 thoughts on “Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe…

  1. Hi Tanya,
    I am a CWA member with a long background in science.
    I find current attitudes towards climate science curious because Australians, country people included, are quick to embrace “science when it suits” them.
    Country people are great consumers of the Bureau of Meteorology services , and the BOM have created a special section for the agricultural community covering rainfall, frost, wind, sunshine, humidity, evapotranspiration etc. The BOM research takes a lot of the uncertainty out of day to day farming.
    We all like science when it benefits us but then we question the science when it goes “against” us.
    The scientists of the BOM state on their website that climate change is consistent with greenhouse gas increases. They are the experts in their field and they have accumulated decades of hard data. The scientists from federal and state agriculture departments are also singing from the same hymn book. I see no reason to disbelieve them.
    It’s hard out here in the bush and if the BOM are right it’s going to get harder. However scientists are also working on new products, techniques and methodologies to enable us to meet the challenges of climate change.
    I would love to see CWA taking a leadership role in supporting our climate scientists and helping country people come to terms with both the science and their changing environment.

  2. Sorry to hear of the fire do trust it does not spread further we have heavy winds here in Coleambally which is not good.

  3. Good luck Jeff, and all the other firies out there, hope the current cool change makes conditions easier for you all, and hearty thanks for all you are doing for your community….

  4. We can not know what it is like an out of control fire until it is near our home or community. I am amazed how many rural people do not have a fire plan when living in areas of high vegetation, cleared paddocks are of little security. Our history over the past 40 years has shown many areas of complete destruction yet we move on and do not prepare ourselves each year for the extreme hazards ahead.

  5. I agree that there is no reason to disbelieve the climate scientists, but I think the most important thing for the future of our planet is to act as if we all believe that our day-to-day living is harming the planet irreversibly – what harm will it do to do everything possible to limit our footprint on the Earth even if the climate scientists were completely barking up the wrong tree. Our Earth is a closed system and we must change our ways.

    As the fire situation worsens dramatically, may all our fire-fighters and other service personal stay safe.


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