The Role of Government in the Australia FiresSubmitted by Michael Nystrom on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 22:30
Here are some dramatic photos of the bushfires in Australia from the Boston Globe's Big Picture. And commentary from a friend in Australia on the role that government played:
Government, of course, played its part. To gain the votes of the environmentalists, different governments over the years have failed to do the brush-clearing and back-burning required to remove fuel from the forests. They also failed to provide fire breaks (we can't chop down trees, you know). So now the forests are gone. Nice job, huh? The government also has a program of "leave early or stay and fight". Many people "stayed and fought" without the resources, knowledge, or experience they needed to survive. One hundred years ago, this wouldn't have happened. The men of the town would have cleared their land and burned when necessary. Men no longer own their land, of course, and many things, like burning, are illegal or require a permit.