Oh you stupid stupid person! Just some quick side notes on the eastern states bushfires, which have irrevocably changed the lives of so many brave people:
- The fires were so uncontrollably voraciously widepsread and successful because the weather was perfect, several weeks to dry out all the fuel to explosive perfection.
- The heat is one of the things that seems to trigger a firebug's addled brain, so the heat must send out an imperative command to their conscious selves to start planning to light fires. If you were of a religious persuasion, you might say they are getting a foretaste of their afterlife...
- The unseasonal heat made Victoria and South Australia one of the hottest spots on Earth, unseasonla weather that can pretty much be laid fair and square at the door of global warming.
- From 46C - 47C days (115F - 118F) before and during the firestorm that has raged for almost a week, temperatures in surrounding areas have dropped from the normal mid-30s (93F) to only 7.5C, (or 42F,)which is a winter temperature in this region.
- The energy released in all the fires over the entire firestorm was estimated to be the equivalent of more than 600 Hiroshima-sized atom bombs. It was spread over a correspondingly wider area and a longer time, but the effect has been pretty much the same.
- The sudden temperature drop can be attributed, I think, to smoke reflecting the sun's heat back. Wait until there's no more smoke, and the deepest black-burnt ground for thousands of hectares...
For anyone that thinks larger cities couldn't go the same way, think again. A rise of a few degrees bring the flash point of many materials closer to combustion. Wooden framed rooves, all those tinder-dry palms standing in a row like so many matchsticks, an exploding car petrol tank - all will help spread flames afar, given a slightly drier and warmer environment.
And the "nuclear winter" effect from flying smoke and ash has been demonstrated in the weather currently being enjoyed by Melbourne.
Suppose one was to sentence an arsonist - a multiple arsonist especially - what would one serve on them? Time for malicious damage to property by fire. Time for damaging native flora and fauna. Time for damaging native reserve and park land. Reckless disregard for damage and harm caused. Murder or manslaughter - one sentence per victim - at least hard time for those.
Emotional, financial, and personal hardship, trauma, and damage for each victim. Double the sentence for each child thus affected. And no anaesthetic, no chance of parole, and a requirement to be paraded in stocks once a year every year for the term of their life.