Bookmarked Forest Fires Are Setting Chernobyl’s Radiation Free by Jane Braxton Little (The Atlantic)

Fire also imposes one more stress on Chernobyl’s ecosystems, a decidedly human wrench thrown into their long recovery from nuclear disaster. Induced by climate change and sparked by human activity, fire here is only slightly more natural than radiation. Persistent and widespread fire may destroy soil organics and radically redistribute the accumulated radionuclides, Yoschenko said, altering soil chemistry. Changes in soil chemistry will alter plants, which in turn will affect the food chain and animals dependent on it. And larger, more intense fires could destroy the forests entirely, obliterating their ability to keep what’s in Chernobyl in Chernobyl. “Keeping forests healthy is the main ingredient to preventing the migration of radionuclides outside the zone,” Zibtsev told me.

For now, Chernobyl’s forests and grasslands are continuing to process cesium, strontium, and other radionuclides. Even the roots of the contorted trees in the Red Forest are taking up radionuclides, holding and stabilizing them in an ecosystem’s gift to the humans who created these contaminants. That process promises to continue—at least until the August fire season gets underway.

Jane Braxton Little discusses the forests that surround Chernobyl and the purpose they serve in stopping the spread of radiation and the dangers of forest fire. At least there was one positive to the Australian bushfires.
Bookmarked This apocalyptic Australian summer is our Sandy Hook moment – if we don’t take climate action now we never will | Brigid Delaney (the Guardian)

Transformation is recognising the facts: Australia is a climate vandal, led by wreckers. We are ranked the worst of 57 countries on climate policy.

Australia is the largest exporter of coal to the world, a global top 10 deforester and a world leader in mammal extinction.

Our carbon-loving prime minister, supported by the Murdoch media and fossil fuel industry, came into parliament carrying a lump of coal.

Brigid Delaney argues that we have hit rock bottom and fears that if we do not make a stand now, then we never will.

These fires without precedent have the potential to profoundly shift the national consciousness. This summer could shake us awake – if we let it.

But if we don’t do it now, while things are raw and real, we never will.

Bookmarked A national disaster (The Monthly)

The fires have now burnt out more than 6.3 million hectares, killed at least 25 people and over half a billion animals, and destroyed over 2500 buildings. They are the worst bushfires in our history, and it’s not even halfway through summer. Regardless of what happens next, the Morrison government will be tarred by its inaction and ineptitude over the past four months.

We’ll never know how many of these losses might have been avoided if action had been taken sooner, with proper resources allocated and proper planning carried out.

Nick Feik provides a summary of the various steps that lead up to the current situation.

On December 29, Morrison finally announced some financial respite for some firefighters, promising up to $6000 in payments to volunteers, but only (at that stage) to those in NSW and, oddly, restricted to those who were self-employed or worked for small or medium-sized businesses.

It all spoke of an underlying view that volunteer firefighters and state government agencies and private donations should carry the load. Morrison seemed to treat his role as merely ceremonial, like a national counsellor or cheerleader. The important thing was to preserve the impression that it was all under control.

All this is entirely in keeping with modern right-wing “conservative” thinking: small government, fewer services, individual responsibility.


In a Twitter thread, Cormac Farrell shares his perspective on the current bushfire crisis and why the Greens are not to blame.

Liked The bushfires in Australia are so big they’re generating their own weather — ‘pyrocumulonimbus’ thunderstorms that can start more fires (INSIDER)

The “front” between the calm air outside the fire zone and the storm cloud is so sharp that it can generate lightning — and that can start new fires.

Bookmarked Live: Isolated Gippsland community under threat from approaching bushfire (ABC News)

Communities on Australia’s east coast are bracing for another day of serious bushfire threats.

The ABC’s live blog associated with the current fire crisis in Victoria and NSW.


Replied to Mallacoota residents and holidaymakers describe ‘apocalypse’ as Victorian bushfire approaches – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) (
I remember standing on a beach in Rye twenty years ago wondering if y2k would cause havoc. It seems like nothing compared to what is being faced this year. All I can say is stay safe everyone.