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The devastating bushfires

Mark Fletcher
January 2nd, 2020 · 34 Comments

The devastation wreaked on families, property, businesses and infrastructure across Australia, especially regional Australia, over the last week, and even before, has been extraordinary.

Watching and listening to the excellent comprehensive coverage on ABC TV and Radio I heard towns and smaller communities mentioned where I knew of businesses.

Through my POS software company, I have reached out to all customers with an offer of help. I have put the same offer to the newsXpress community. From help with an insurance claim, help restoring a backup to fast-tracking replacing hardware to establishing urgent alternative comms to be connected when the phone lines are down. Our people will help as much as possible.

I’ll also use connections with suppliers to help with inventory issues reported where appropriate.

None of this, of course, helps with the deep personal pain of the devastation. It is something though.

Getting help starts with a call or email. I have let our team know to prioritise fire related calls for help.

While bushfire season is an annual ‘event’ in our country, what we are seeing, and experiencing, is recent weeks is different.

I accept the science, that climate change is real, human caused and that the earth is facing an urgent existential crisis.

I am tired of those who say now, during the bushfires, is not the time to discuss and confront this. They are, in my mind, ignorant fools. The politicians in this camp are worse, they are criminal in their neglect, especially since 2013.

I am tired of the politicians passing legislation for their mates and ignoring the needs of everyday Australians.

I am tired of those who say Australia is too small to make a difference. Such statements are ignorant and selfish.

We urgent action to reduce carbon emissions.

The bushfires will impact an already slowing economy. The best response is stimulus. The best stimulus in my view is cash in the hands of those who will spend it. In economic terms, this should be an urgent focus of the government. My November 11 post lists valuable and economically stimulating investments the government should consider.

If you are going to comment here denying climate change, don’t bother as you are wrong.


Category: Social responsibility

34 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jim // Jan 2, 2020 at 7:21 AM

    So you suggest those ignorant fools in Canberra start splashing money around so people can buy plush and collectibles from you, which ends up as landfill. Great leadership! Hypocrisy personified.


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Jan 2, 2020 at 7:30 AM

    Great comment jumping at the shadows in your own head there Jim. Happy New year.


  • 3 Pe // Jan 2, 2020 at 8:12 AM


    I see from Jim’s comment that push back already started about you comments. Mark you are correct and please keep telling the truth.


  • 4 Peter // Jan 2, 2020 at 8:25 AM

    Only two words needed to explain the crisis we face. Overpopulation and Overconsumption. Problem is the world economy is reliant on never ending growth. We desperately need government leadership on this, but we keep on electing climate change deniers. Only hope is Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren winning US election in 2020 and forging a new path, so that countries like Australia will follow. Because that’s what Australia does….follow not lead.


  • 5 Mark Fletcher // Jan 2, 2020 at 8:28 AM

    Sanders is too old. Warren is too connected to the past. For me, Andrew Yang is the candidate.

    As for the actual focus of this post, how we got here is moot. What needs to happen to slow carbon emissions to help the earth recover is not. We need engagement from those in power today on what must be done.


  • 6 James // Jan 2, 2020 at 8:34 AM

    Best stick to topics you have an understanding of. This is nothing more than opinion. For someone with such a large carbon footprint, you are not living the message you espouse.

    I am tired of those for whom the problem belongs to everyone else but not their own lifestyle.

    I enjoy your views on whats happening in retail but this stuff really irks me.

    The fact is that nothing Australia or its government has done on climate change would have had any impact on the bushfires and to suggest this is a complete nonsense


  • 7 Peter // Jan 2, 2020 at 8:43 AM

    Personally I don’t care as long as they have a commitment to environmental sustainability and reducing wealth inequality. I think the “too old tag”is unfair and symptomatic of wider problem of age discrimination. Now is a time for people of commitment and action not youthful looks and symbolism.


  • 8 Mark Fletcher // Jan 2, 2020 at 8:49 AM

    Peter, in mentioning age for Sanders, I reference many of his policies. They are from past battles. The US needs an energetic, nimble, honest and swamp disconnected president. Unfortunately, the process is unlikely to deliver that.

    James, had the government acted 7, 10 or 15 years ago might have made a difference. We don’t know and can’t be sure. However, what we do know is that inaction is a tractor here. These are many properly qualified experts who say so.


  • 9 Peter // Jan 2, 2020 at 8:56 AM

    James, you may be “tired”, but your message is tired too. We are past the whole business as usual stage and we’re all guilty so just shut up and move on. We only have one planet and we need Governmental leadership on this. We are all enmeshed in the carbon economy and change will only be possible if world leadership allows it.


  • 10 James // Jan 2, 2020 at 9:34 AM

    Thanks Peter for your predictable response.

    “Shut up and move on”

    Best stay off the Kool Aid and if you’re really interested in the subject, start doing some research on all of the information out there on the subject.

    And Mark, the very premise that Australia’s Emissions impact Australia’s climate is non sensical. Climate change is real, but its not a localised phenomena. Nothing Australia has done historically would have altered global emissions one iota. The world has essentially given China a hall pass to do what they like up to 2030. By that time, China’s emissions alone will be the equivalent of total global emissions in 1990. And India’s industrialisation has only just begun so there are huge increases in global emissions baked into the cake, all with the approval of “world leadership”.

    Of the 16MT of additional global CO2 emissions entering the earths atmosphere since 1990, 12 MT is from China and India. Not one additional tonne has been contributed by Australia despite a 50% increase in population and a tripling in the size of the economy.

    And No, I wont shut up and move on. That only happens in undemocratic totalitarian regimes.


  • 11 Mark Fletcher // Jan 2, 2020 at 9:36 AM

    James, doing nothing, standing still, is dumb. The years of doing that have got us here. Also dumb is the oh we’re too small to have an impact. History shows that a small fact-based and honest stand can change the world for the better. It takes guts. It takes leadership. We are bereft of both right now.


  • 12 James // Jan 2, 2020 at 9:44 AM

    Thanks Mark, I look forward to your personal leadership on the topic in 2020.


  • 13 Peter // Jan 2, 2020 at 10:13 AM

    James, I was actually referencing you saying “shut up and move on” to people that might be concerned by climate change. It is a very very well worn and tired response from climate change deniers. We all use carbon so no one can argue against it, China are the worst etc….etc.

    You keep aligned with Scomo “miracle man” and the Trump the “orange buffoon” and I’ll stick with the climate scientists. Cheers


  • 14 Steve // Jan 2, 2020 at 2:30 PM

    Using a heatwave and devastating fires as proof of climate change is no better than using an unusual cold snap to deny it. Weather isn’t climate is an argument that works both ways.

    Which brings use to the topic of what is causing the early and extreme hot and dry weather with high winds over Australia? Well according to that renown climate denier Dr Harry Hendon leader of the “Climate Processes team in the Climate Change and Variability Program” at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology-

    -it was caused by a “Sudden Stratospheric Warming” over Antarctica in mid spring which was predicted at that time to cause the current extreme heat and was stated at the time as “not being connected to climate change”.

    Here’s a report from that right wing climate denying media outlet the ABC reporting these facts on the 6/9/2019.

    Here’s more on the science from Nature magazine.

    Now none of this matters if your presently on a beach praying your home is still there or manning a fire truck for weeks on end and you can only feel for those affected.

    Nether does it in anyway deny what is the very real problem of climate change. What it should do is remind everybody on all sides of the argument that you should be very sure of your facts before you comment.


  • 15 James // Jan 2, 2020 at 3:28 PM

    Peter, I fully appreciate that it was me whose opinion you wanted to close down.

    Yes well you stick with Bernie, Elizabeth and the globalist elite wealth redistributors, and Ill stick with the science, the facts, and the reality.

    I agree with Mark by the way that Yang is the best of pretty mundane group of Democratic contenders.


  • 16 Peter // Jan 2, 2020 at 3:44 PM

    James, the fires we are currently enduring, the worst ever according to the RFS, the hottest decade on record. This is the reality. Climate change deniers like yourself are not worth engaging with. Too narrow minded to acknowledge the need for change.


  • 17 Mark Fletcher // Jan 2, 2020 at 7:05 PM


  • 18 James // Jan 2, 2020 at 7:54 PM,9171,944914,00.html


  • 19 Peter // Jan 2, 2020 at 8:48 PM


  • 20 Paul // Jan 3, 2020 at 3:43 PM

    Climate change maybe -only another million years of statistics will show if it is but i bet this has more to do with the lack of controlled burning off when possible than anything else and who stops the burning of the bush ???


  • 21 Mark Fletcher // Jan 3, 2020 at 3:47 PM

    Paul if you’ve caught the news, forestry and fire people in NSW and VIC have said such claims have no basis in fact. Unfortunately, bots are flooding social media with reports along the lines off what you have written.


  • 22 Paul // Jan 3, 2020 at 3:57 PM

    After the fires are finished and finally out we will see if there is an increase in burning off having said that my thoughts are with everyone who is and maybe affected


  • 23 Mark Fletcher // Jan 3, 2020 at 3:59 PM

    A fire expert from Victoria was on the radio today saying that part of the problem with controlled burns is that the window of time in which it is safe to do these has halved in the last ten years, leaving insufficient time to do all required areas.


  • 24 Paul // Jan 3, 2020 at 4:14 PM

    Mark living in the bush in South West WA any controlled burn off is better than none and after a fire close by 2 years ago what slowed down its progress was burning into previous burned bush.You don’t do all areas at once but work to a plan so that you can get on top of most areas. but a start is a start


  • 25 Mark Fletcher // Jan 3, 2020 at 4:16 PM

    Paul I am not an expert. Above, I noted what an expert on controlled burns said on radio today, relating to Victoria.


  • 26 Paul // Jan 3, 2020 at 4:21 PM

    None of this will help those people affected at this stage – if this is you stay safe our thoughts are with you all


  • 27 Theo // Jan 3, 2020 at 7:50 PM

    It all depends on who you believe – the farmer /true greenie( living next door to the farmer not in the inner city !) that wants to clear the land to save their property .And the way the indigenous people of australia used to do it . Or just leave the forest fuel load to increase by not removing dead trees, cutting grass etc- current policy of councils and government.
    I work in the northern suburbs – residents are worried about the plenty valley gorge. I have seen 1 metre dry grass uncut for some time – locals have complained to council to cut it- it is now alittle bit taller ! About the fires -climate change will be a factor , like so many other factors. Another royal commission in these fires MAY state that a combinations of factors caused this .
    The indigenous people will be asked for their opinion – about fire experts opinion versus farmers/local residents hmm.


  • 28 Graeme Day // Jan 3, 2020 at 9:47 PM

    I believe a lot more constructive thought re the victims and how we can help (Mark mentioned his contribution through Tower and NewsXpress) and less accusations on the cause of these Bushfires until they are over and investagted thoroughly would be more constructive.
    No doubt there will be something there for all to claim from accidental to arson some may even claim it’s God’s will, anything is possible.
    Once the Heat is off (the argument) some clear answers will be there on a case by case and overall including backburning. being an ex Bushie living in hese Towns I would say Back burning is and will always be an essential prevention program.
    Either way none of this will be over until heavy rain (not expected until March)
    In the meantime what about newsagents setting up a pick centre for those to send goods to and for those disavantaged.
    Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin Christmas Boxing Day 1972 Our newsagency in Eastwood appeal to the public for anthything from generators to clothing and we had volounters loading vans and transporting these goods to Richmond RAAF base for air lift direct to Darwin.
    These people have lost everything and most only have the very clothes thay were wearing when the fires struck.
    Imagine that-nothing but dirty clothes.
    Surely we can do something and show our true community spirit.
    I would comment on this from Climate Change -emmission carbon control-the end of civilisation as we know it and also the ignorance of NOT accepting “we need to do something about polluting our future” except I don’t think it’s the time right now
    When it’s over perhaps an open minded BLOG could be the go.


  • 29 Murray // Jan 9, 2020 at 6:01 AM

    Since when has arson been swallowed up by the climate change sect ? How many out of control fires have the NT had ? the answer is none, because the aboriginal people are not controlled by the soy latte sipping greens and they do controlled burns during their dry season. Let the elders control the land burn backs. Let the farmers make fire breaks, christ, there is 1 farmer not far from where i live got a massive fine because his fire breaks where too big. ( greens madness ) the fire went through his property and his house was saved. But he still got fined.


  • 30 Mark Fletcher // Jan 9, 2020 at 6:30 AM

    Murray, since the Greens are not in power anywhere near where you live, and are not in power anywhere in Australia, it cannot be Greens madness.

    It is unfortunate that thousands of bots have perpetuated the Greens have caused bushfires by blocking back burns false narrative.


  • 31 Murray // Jan 9, 2020 at 7:25 AM

    Mark, the laws were written when Gillard got into bed with the greens to get into power. Labor and thr greens are in WA, VIC and QLD , all in bed with the greens. The greens are to blame. Landowners are not allowed to do anything on their land.


  • 32 Mark Fletcher // Jan 9, 2020 at 7:53 AM

    Murray, Julia Gillard negotiated power with 3 independents, not the Greens. Regardless, the laws to which you refer are local, not federal. The Greens do not have and have not had the power to which you refer, except through a minister in the ACT Government – a minister responsible for considerable back burning in that territory. So, the only time the Greens had authority over back burning policy, they used it, agreeing to all back burning advice from the fire authorities.

    I don’t care whether you like the Greens or not and I am not a Greens voter. However, what matters is the truth.


  • 33 Peter // Jan 9, 2020 at 8:32 AM

    Murray and his ilk can’t handle the “inconvenient truth” of climate change. It’s all a bit too “Scientific” for their brains too handle.


  • 34 Graeme Day // Jan 9, 2020 at 10:38 AM

    i believe it is our responsibility to look after our Planet even if for our future generations well being.
    Starting from here it would seem we have a great debate on how we go about this. Wht’a relevant -what’s longer term and what alternative can we use for sustainable living. Not much differenct to taking care of your health or your business if you want success and sustainability.
    It doesn’t do any good to belt each up over the common sense of it all -extremes are always dangerous.
    Perhaps we should re look at the cleanest fule Uranium again, that is if we can find a way of disposing the waste that is not toxic to us all.


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