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I was reading the news about bushfire in Australia and how half a billion animals died with more to come. I have never felt useless like this, as a computer scientist the only thing I can do is donating some money. I can't actively fight the fire, I can't give medical care to the suffering animals nor can I do something about the shitty government for allowing project Frack.

I wish all the firefighters the best, hopefully the country can recover its nature and wildlife.

Comments
  • 5
    I actually think that as CS we can do something to help. Not right now, but in the long run.
    In this era we have tons of information from sensors/satellites and lots of computing resources. I suppose it's not infeasible to create large-scale fire simulations, helping firefighters predict how the fire will develop and perhaps where are the "critical areas" where they should put more effort into subduing the fire.
    As CS you can help program autonomous robots that will assist in firefighting and reduce risk to human lives. Maybe improve fire detecting algorithms, or even identify high-risk locations where fire is likely to start.
    I think there is a lot we can do with our skillset, but it's kind of up to politicians and big companies like Google, where they want to put their money.
  • 0
    We can do something: engage in the politics, dont buy products that help against climate change.
  • 1
    @stop Climate change has nothing to do with that. The reasons are

    1) stupid environmentalists prohibiting controlled burndown (same as in California) although Aborigines have been doing that for millennia.

    2) 87% of the fires are man-made, which is why most of them are in populated areas. The divide is roughly half on half between stupidity (47% accidents) and malice (40% arson).
  • 2
    @Fast-Nop these are very precise numbers - and strong statement. Source?
  • 0
    @stop Climate change is not necessarily caused by the fact that we pollute nature and destroy wildlife. Earth had cycles of warmer weather, where you had flora in places that today are frozen, and also ice ages where the average temperature was 3C.
    I think the global warming is not something that we control. It's a natural thing that happens, and all we can do is prepare for what's coming.
    Obviously, I don't think mankind should shit everywhere on the planet, but buying paper straws is not going to stop the climate from changing.
  • 2
    @react-guy Sydney Morning Herald.

    Arson / accidents:
    https://smh.com.au/national/...

    Warning of misguided environmental policies already 10 years ago:
    https://smh.com.au/environment/...
  • 1
    @NickyBones https://xkcd.com/1732/ paper straws alone not, but its some that a person alone can do. And were at the start of an new ice age(thousands of years in the future). The most worryieng i know is that the climate models from the 60s predict the same as the modern models, thwy were just too optimistic about the co² levels.
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop those are both opinion pieces. Try again.
  • 0
    @NickyBones very Christian response of you lol
  • 0
    @broseph Oh yeah, the whole practice of controlled burn-downs is just "opinion". It's just that this is also the "opinion" of people who have been surviving in the outback for millennia with next to no equipment.

    And the other piece is also backed up by facts.
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop then present the “facts,” man. If something is so undeniable, you’ll find more than one opinion piece to support it. Like some kind of, I don’t know, consensus?
  • 0
    @broseph Consensus doesn't mean a rat's ass because you can't vote facts. The articles do have facts, even if you don't like them. But here's another one. Maybe you'll acknowledge that Australian fire fighters do know some shit about, uhm, Australian fires?

    https://volunteerfirefighters.org.au/...
  • 2
    @broseph Christian? Huh?
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop "consensus doesn't mean a rat's ass because you can't vote facts"
    Isn't it the opposite? Facts don't have opinion. A fact is a fact. It's GOOD that you can't vote facts.

    About the fires, I don't know what causes them initially, but I think the problem is more than we cannot extinguish them.
    You said yourself that 47% of the ignitions are accidental.

    Climate change may not be the first reason of these fires, I give you that. But I guess that a rise in temperatures and less rain is bad news when a forest is burning.

    Stating that it's totally irrelevant with the subject seems naive to me...
  • 0
    @react-guy Sure there is drought, and sure there will be fires. But there's no good reason for the fires to become that devastating. The warnings have been there since at last 2009 in Australia, and nobody listened up. Maybe that will change now, after the damage has been done.

    Btw., the Dems in California have always denied that Trump had been right all along when he pointed out misguided environmental policies as main reason for their megafires. However, without much ado, they did change their policies in 2018: https://forbes.com/sites/...
  • 0
    Btw., back in summer of 1976, we had huge wildfires in Northern Germany where the fire fighters were unable to cope. They called in the army, and they used their tanks to mow down large fire aisles into the forests as to contain the fires. Didn't matter whether it were nature parks or not.

    Using the military in case of natural disasters had been legalised in the aftermath of the storm surge in 1962 where the government had called in the army (with boats, helicopters and stuff) against the constitution, reasoning that citizens' lifes were more important than the law.
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop so what you are saying is that climate change is not the main reason of these uncontrolled fires, but human eco-policy is (especially the lack of fuel reduction by controlled fires). Am I right?
    I think it is an argument I can accept.

    However, when it comes to climate change, we need to be careful how we say things. There is so many confusion and climate-skeptics already to make it worse.
  • 0
    @larrywho11 going back to your initial subject : I feel just like you. I'm thinking about it for 2 years now.

    Here is a list of things you can do :
    - don't work for companies known to be eco-unfriendly,
    - promote remote working. Commuting is a big contributor of emissions.
    - optimize you code for performance. Better perf means less energy used
    - look around you for hackathon about "smart city". Most of the time energy usage reduction is the main topic of those
    - keep your electronics as long as possible. Repair them if possible. Give them to friends when you don't use it anymore...

    And if really you want to go to the next level: get hired in a NGO as developer. They need IT as any other company does.
  • 0
    @react-guy Yes. With controlled burn-downs before, the fires now still might have happened, but nowhere nearly as destructive.

    And if climate change leads to more droughts, which is plausible, then carefully controlled burn-downs are even more important. Especially because more droughts also mean that there's less water available for extinguishing ongoing fires.

    The other option is to shrug it off when the whole country burns down with so much fire fuel and no fire breaks.
  • 0
    @Fast-Nop lol “Australian fires.” Because oxidation works differently down under
  • 1
    @NickyBones Climate change is just cyclical and not made worse by humans is a common Christian talking point. God would totally never allow people to negatively affect earth on such a scale lol
  • 0
    @Fast-Nop Sp they should’ve “swept” the forest floors right? 😂😂
  • 1
    @broseph I'm not religious. I have worked for some time in CSCS with scientists that run climate simulations, weather forecasts and such. There are scientific proofs of earth having gone through several ice ages, which were preceded by peaks of higher temperature. I have a very non-religious basis for the things that I write.
    Great job assuming stupid shit!
  • 0
    @NickyBones I believe you didn't look at the number closely enough.

    Take a look at the concentration of co2 over the eons, aligned with ice age. You are right. There is a correlation between ice ages and co2.

    https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-sign...

    Now look at the end of the chart. See this concentration raising above any historical value? It started right after industrial revolution.

    THAT is the problem. Not the fact that it fluctuates (it always did). It's the fact that it fluctuates OUTSIDE OF ITS RANGE. And it never happened in hundreds of thousands of years.

    Anyone serious about this subject knows that this ice ages argument has absolutely no value. In fact, it is the opposite. You look like an idiot and people try to discredit you (this Christianity attack for example).

    You have the right to not believe in scientific evidence, but if so, you can't use them to prove your point.

    Try again.
  • -1
    @react-guy You're making the classic mistake of mixing up correlation and causality, while being extremely arrogant and missing my point.
    The graph you have directed me to has the granularity of thousands of years. There is no way you can read from this graph that the industrial revolution was the point where we started getting extreme values. So choose your graphs wisely. Also, remember those are proxy measurements, and you need to be cautious when making statements about them. You could be off by a few decades, you could have past measurements that are wrong - maybe there was a higher pick 100 thousand years ago, we just don't have the means to uncover that.
    There is a clear trend in the graph of rising CO2 level way before any human intervention. The fact that the levels of CO2 now are 30% higher is meaningless in the big picture - lower levels than that led to drastic climate changes. So humans contributing to CO2 levels that were already increasing doesn't change the future.
  • 1
    @react-guy Anyway the point I was making, is that being eco-conscience now is pretty fucking useless with regard to climate change. Because this ship has sailed, wrecked and sunken a long time ago.
  • 0
    @broseph I get the impression that you are just talking out of your ass.

    OF COURSE the environment is different everywhere, and so is fire fighting. What is the terrain, is it even accessible, do you have water available, what are the main wind directions, what IS in the main wind direction, how fast does vegetation grow, how much staff do you have, are these voluntaries or dedicated and so on.

    When asking about wild fires under the circumstances in Australia, everyone with both brain cells working would acknowledge that Australian fire fighters have the best knowledge.

    And guess what, Trump was fucking RIGHT with forest maintenance. That's why the Calis passed corresponding bills in 2018. Obviously without admitting that Trump had been right.
  • 0
    @Fast-Nop whoa.. you’ve only got two brain cells? Mystery solved lol
  • 0
    @broseph Obviously, you don't have both working and are using your ass for thinking.
  • 0
    @Fast-Nop well it wasn’t originally my intent, but ya just got so triggered it’s hard to stop 🤣🤣
  • 0
    @NickyBones well I guess you should be right. I mean, scientists, people *actively working every day* on this subject never use this chart, don't they?

    Wait a minute. They do. And they do often. And they have a consensus about its accuracy.

    But no. They all make a misconception between correlation and causality. You must be right.

    Seriously, did you at least look at the page I sent you? There is the chart, but also a video showing global measures across the globe since 2002. Granularity of thousands of years, you say?

    Do you really think that after 10+ years of stupid people telling them it's false, that scientists didn't make their data bullet proof?

    If so, yes, I arrogantly tell you : you're an idiot.
  • 0
    @react-guy I didn't tell you that the chart was wrong. I told that it was the wrong chart to prove your point.
    You were pointing me to the industrial revolution, right? end of 1700's, beginning of 1800's? How would your 2002 chart help me with that?
    Can you make a simple link between your arguments and data? What is your education? Kindergarten?
    Scientists have believed for centuries in things that were proven to be wrong, or at least partially wrong. That's the beauty in science - that you continue to question things.
    But you are so stuck in your opinions and so violent in the way you express them - sounds to me like you're the religious one.
  • 1
    @NickyBones hey the Christian insult was mine. Don’t give his kindergarten ass credit for it, you goddamn Christian!
  • 1
    A lot of these wildfires could have been prevented

    with proper forest management.

    Did they?

    Obviously fucking not.

    Was it arson? Well a bunch of people are screaming

    "it wasnt arson you fucking idiots! it was climate change!"

    I mean, it was both. People *absolutely* lit those fires.

    The fact they're this fucking bad is a combination of

    1. bad laws preventing proper forest management

    2. bad policy not allocating enough money for management

    of public lands

    3. climate change.

    Someone was saying the aboriginal flag (the top half of the flag a black rectangle, and the bottom half a red rectangle, with a yellow circle overlaid in the middle) was reproduced by by the smoke and firelight on the horizon. Makes perfect sense. They made

    their flag a representation of some distant and dangerous event.
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