Photo & Video: “Here you go, Mate” — Hope From the Ashes

From the Melbourne Herald Sun:

Russell Vickery

CFA volunteer David Tree helps a distressed koala in burnt-out forest at Mirboo North. Pic: Russell Vickery

UPDATE : Please send your message of support to the fire crews battling the bushfires here – at the moment there are 2108 messages – please add yours!  And go here or here to find out how you can help.

UPDATE #2: The Australian Bushfires: An Ongoing News & Comment Round-Up

UPDATE: #3:   By popular request,  “How You Can Help – Animal Edition” – what you can do to help those like Sam the Koala!

UPDATE #4:  See here for Update on Sam the Koala, Bushfire Survivor with more photos and video, and indepth follow-up story.  Sam is in good hands now and doing well.

UPDATE #5: The Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter which is now caring for Sam and other koalas that were burnt on 7 February 2009 now have a website with more great photos of and information about Sam the Koala, and they’ll be keeping it updated.  They are also, of course, looking for help in caring for her and the many other animals they’ve taken in.

Pictures below the fold to save loading time:

Read the rest of this entry »

The death toll didn’t have to be

STATE and federal governments have been accused of succumbing to pressure from the green lobby by abandoning responsibility for controlled burning of forests, despite growing populations in bushland suburbs.

As the death toll from the Victorian bushfires topped 130 yesterday, fire control experts said forest managers had failed to learn the lessons of past infernos such as Ash Wednesday in 1983 and the 2003 Canberra bushfires.

David Packham, a researcher from Monash University’s climatology group who has specialised in bushfires, said governments had abandoned responsibility for the one control they had over wildfires — the state of the forests that fed the flames.

“Due to terribly ill-informed and pretty well outrageous concepts of conservation, we have failed to manage our fuel and our forests,” Mr Packham said. “They have become unhealthy, and dangerous.”

(BTW, keep an eye on that Siobhan Ryan. She used to work for the Courier Mail and she’s a great journalist.)

Phil Cheney, formerly head of the CSIRO’s bushfire research unit, said the number of Victorian fatalities “absolutely” would have been lower with more prescribed burning.

And there were the arsonists.

But before you go and puke, yep, a few assholes have come out and blamed global warming.


More about all this here.

H/T Watcher

And you thought 40 bux a barrel was good

Forty a relief? Er, 40 US. That’s about two Euros or 150 Aussie dollars.

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Friday night was the right time to get tanked in the Dutch town of Genderen. An unmanned gas station began offering customers gas for 1 cent per liter (around $0.05 per gallon)…


Steyn’s take on Obama’s stimulus bill

Yep, that stimulus bill.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Leading Republicans warned Sunday that the Obama administration’s $800 billion-plus economic stimulus effort will lead to what one called a “financial disaster.”

And Styen’s not happy, either… especially with the company Obama is keeping.

Barack wants to take a trillion pieces of pork and feed it to a handful of Democratic Party interest groups.

I’m but an amateur but all this really smacks of governments taking too much control… and too many morons ready and willing to give it to them.

And thus now is the real thrust of this post.

Now, this is a perhaps tenuous link but it reminded me of the case of the woman in Italy, Eluana Englaro.

ROME, Italy (CNN) — An emergency decree that could prevent doctors from finishing removing the feeding tube of a woman who has been comatose for 17 years was sent to the Italian Senate on Friday night for a vote.

I can’t find the link, but a protester on CNN a few hours back noted, that in many facets of our lives, our freedoms are being taken away.

The Daily Telegraph’s respected senior columnist, Piers Akerman, provides yet another example of “ideological garbage” further eroding our freedoms. This time it’s Rudd bagging capitalism in favour of more government control of our economies. Hey, Rudd. Why not just quit pretending and send Kim Jong Il a ‘get well soon’ card?

(That said, his response to our bush fires has been most admirable.)

I’m young and haven’t made my mind up on euthanasia and abortion (or even the death penalty for that matter) although I generally lean towards the idea of individual freedom and choice.

It’s tenuous, but at the end of the day, I guess the point I’m getting at is those three examples I mentioned above, highlight, from different angles, how governments are slowly trying to take out freedoms away again.

You’ve heard of the Gore effect, right?

Hyar, hyar and hyar. Oh, and hyar and (but of course) hyar.

Oh yeah, and hyar and hyar.

Well, welcome to the Chu Effect.

On the same day when President Obama and Prime Minister Brown separately warned of imminent economic catastrophe, the new US Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu issued a different catastrophe warning. The LA Times quoted him saying ““I don’t think the American public has gripped in its gut what could happen,” he said. “We’re looking at a scenario where there’s no more agriculture in California.” And, he added, “I don’t actually see how they can keep their cities going” either.“

Via guest poster Steven Goddard at Watts Up With That.

Australian bushfires: how to help.

And how to receive help.

Call 1800 240 667. You can receive immediate assistance of $1000. You can also go to the Department of Human Services.

Call the Red Cross Information Line on 1800 727 077 for relief centres and help locating relatives, friends and missing persons.

Listen to ABC local radio for the latest information. You can call 1300 13 9994 to get advice about radio reception.


Now for the rest of us… For those overseas, the Red Cross is probably your best bet.

The Herald Sun, Melbourne’s major daily, has all the options.

Or this…

Make a direct deposit to the Victorian Bushfire Relief Fund.
BSB 082-001, Account number 860-046-797 National Australia Bank (NAB).

Every dollar counts…


Please, guys. Minimum donation is just five Aussie dollars and it takes barely a minute.

And a reminder to shop at Coles on Friday. All profits from that day will go to help folks caught up in this bushfire mess. Same deal if you shop at BI-LO or Pick n’ Pay.

UPDATE 2:   “How to Help” – Animal Edition – Australian Bushfires 2009 [spot_the_dog]

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