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Reproduced from The Spectator Australia

 

The Spectator masthead and burning Eucalypt tree

 

Have you noticed how chaotic and wasteful eucalypts are? They have branches that grow in all directions and lengths and they seem to be forever dropping dead bits off them. Why hasn’t natural selection tidied them up so their branches are all economically organised to maximise access to light like beautifully ordered pines or symmetrical oaks? A eucalyptus tree actually looks like a whole lot of trees fighting with each other for access to the light. In fact, a trick to painting a eucalypt is to simply place a lot of grey-green blobs near each other and then connect them with stalks to a central trunk, and voilà, you have a eucalypt.

What this chaotic structure suggests to me as a biologist is that eucalypts are an ‘upstart species’a species that has hit upon some novel, beats-all strategy that has allowed them to develop and proliferate at such a rapid rate that natural selection hasn’t had time to refine the design of their new opportunity.

Fossil evidence suggests that eucalypts originally emerged from our Australian rainforests and then quickly spread and conquered virtually the whole of Australia, with botanists recognising that every variety of plant community in Australia, be it heathland, scrub, open woodland or forest, is dominated by a variety of eucalypt, the only exception being the very dry inland that is still dominated by acacias.

So what could this magic strategy that eucalypts have hit upon be? Well, eucalypts happen to have epicormic buds, buds hidden in the sapwood under their bark that are protected from fire and so can quickly sprout afterwards, which you can see when you drive through a eucalypt forest some months after a bushfirethe charred trunks are covered with lush sprouting shoots.

Basically, eucalypts can survive an intense fire when few other species can; and since they can survive fire they can afford to encourage fire because it will eliminate competition from other species.

In fact, natural selection has seemingly led to eucalypts actively cultivating fire because they now have very waxy, oily flammable leaves, which they are constantly shedding to accumulate beds of fire-fuelling litter at their base, and peeling bark that flies through the air as lit tapers to start new fires many kilometres ahead. The Blue Mountains west of Sydney are so-named because the oil in the eucalypts along the mountain range is constantly evaporating and creating a blue haze.

Eucalypts are essentially fire-fuelling incinerators that generate so much heat when they catch fire that when one burns its radiant heat evaporates the oils in the neighbouring eucalypts creating a flammable gas which ignites as a fireball, and so the crowns of the trees explode with fire one after the other, triggering a ‘crown fire’a wave of exploding eucalypt canopies that race through the Australian bush like a tornado.

No wonder they are referred to as ‘gasoline trees’.

David Bowman, a forest ecologist at the University of Tasmania, was describing the novel strategy of eucalypts when he said, ‘Give a hillside a really good torching and the eucalyptus will absolutely dominate. They’ll grow intensively in the first few years of life and outcompete everything’ (‘Australia’s wildfires: Are Eucalyptus Trees to Blame?’, Live Science, 21 Oct. 2013).

This ‘trick’ of being extremely fire-adapted obviously requires fire, which lightning can cause. But to be the ‘upstart’ and ‘still-chaotically-designed’ species that they are would suggest eucalypts have benefited from a relatively recent occurrence of much more fire than lightning strikes could account for.

That provider of regular fire would seem to be the arrival of Aborigines some 40-60,000 years ago. As Viv Forbes wrote in his recent article in the Australian: ‘Fires lit by Aboriginal men and women created the landscape of Australia. They used fire to create and fertilise fresh new grass for the grazing animals they hunted… Their fires created and maintained grasslands and open forest… Aboriginal fire ‘management’ worked brilliantly. Because of the high frequency of small fires, fire intensity was low and fires could be lit safely even in summer’ (‘Revive ancient skills to better manage bushfires’, 31 Dec., 2019). Evidence that the fire-adapted eucalypts spread in parallel with the arrival and spread of Aborigines is supported by an article on the history of Australian flora which said that ‘the gums are… all but absent until a few tens of thousands of years ago’ (review of Ashley Hay’s 2002 book ‘Gum’, the Bulletin magazine, 19 Nov., 2002). If fires from lightning strikes had been numerous enough to allow for the proliferation of eucalypts and the development of our current fire-weed, gum-tree monoculture then surely it would have appeared much earlier in the fossil record.

This extraordinary affinity with fire means eucalypts have to be viewed as extremely dangerous incinerators that must be kept away from residential and commercial zones. They are not like other trees that we can surround ourselves with because of their natural beauty or shade qualities. Rather (and greenies especially should note this) we have to view eucalypts as being like dangerous crocodiles planted tail-down ready to destroy lives and our worldincluding so much of our wildlife with estimates of over a billion animals having been killed by this summer’s fires. Fires in non-eucalypt forests are bad enough, but eucalypt forest fires are so frequent, ferocious and destructive that eucalypt forests actually represent a lost part of our continent. Humans can’t live near them, and they are an extremely dangerous habitat for wildlife.

Basically, there has to be a complete change of mindset when thinking about eucalypts that recognises their true nature. The stark reality is there should be legislation in Australia preventing eucalypts from growing in quantity near people. We also need to enforce regular hazard reduction burns in eucalypt forests, otherwise the incineration of the whole east coast of Australia that we’re experiencing will keep occurring, especially in times of extreme drought.

Eucalypts were planted overseas with gusto because they’re fast growing and have hard wood but the world is starting to wake up to this ‘crocodile’ in their midst; as David Bowman also said, ‘What the hell have humans done? We’ve spread a dangerous plant all over the world.’

 

Jeremy Griffith is an Australian biologist based in Sydney, and the founder of the non-profit World Transformation Movement at www.HumanCondition.com.

This Blog Post was written by WTM Admin on February 22, 2020

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Please note, we encourage constructive discussion about this information and so reserve the right to moderate or decline posts that we feel are not relevant or inappropriate. In particular, with the subject of the human condition being so confronting, malice can easily occur, and where comments are deemed to be motivated not by objectivity but by malice, they will be declined. It has to be appreciated that the possibility of malice toward this subject matter is very real, and we have a responsibility to manage that as best we can.

  • Anonymous on November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Olive trees are also oily.

  • Damon Isherwood on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Jeremy Griffith’s work on the human condition is the real deal. Brings incisive thinking to this fundamental, but misunderstood, area.

  • Sally Edgar on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Yes, as Griffith says, the human condition is THE underlying issue in all human affairs and his biological explanation of it brings much needed understanding to the mess us humans find ourselves in and finally ends all our pain and suffering. The videos are so compelling and insightful and Griffith’s book Freedom: The End of the Human Condition is a must-read!!!

  • Fiona Cullen-Ward on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    This one issue that Griffith is shedding light on is just the tip of the iceberg of what he is able to explain. His explanation of the human condition is the big ticket item, clarifying everything about humans, full stop.

  • Ben Koshy on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    So very rightly said. The human heart is WICKED. I applaud this Biologist.

  • Erlo Muhl on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    I think the reason lies much deeper then what we humans know.

  • Bill Prins on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Overpopulation and greed are the problem

  • Clive Basson on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Great ideas, however difficult/impossible to implement glodal change through a theory in videos and books. Illiteracy, prejudice, social beliefs……. Nice try.

  • Manna Klipwerk on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    To know what is wrong and to accept it is important . It is even more important to know where you can get help to rectify it

  • Bruce B Lennon on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Yep …just finished saying it in another jpost

  • Hilda MacDonald on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Martin Luther King believed the three evils of this world are ; Consumerism, Racism and Militarism. All three show no respect for ourselves, each other and the environment. We should learn reverence for all living things, First Nations knew this and lived in harmony with nature .

  • Grant Van Heerden on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    How does this help, let’s get real the message doesn’t get through to the masses of the population anyway, so it will be business as usual

  • Stephen Aracic on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Gum trees are Eucalyptus and the green leaves are full of Eucalyptus oil, when the fire is under such trees developed with dry weeds and grass supplying a lot of fuel till is strong and high enough riching leaves. High-temperature realising oil and this is what makes fire uncontrollable! Spraying oil with water will only increase the flames by adding oxygen!

  • Forrest Hill on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Interesting

  • James Press on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Trees are just the latest superficial issue that threatens human progress (or even existence) but surely the real issue is OURSELVES, WE ultimately are the ones causing the problems on earth and so any real solution to the world’s problems must lie in addressing us humans, the human condition no less. Griffith squarely acknowledges this in his central thesis in his (freely available) book ‘FREEDOM: The End Of The Human Condition’. The explanation and compassionate understanding in it is the only thing that will bring real relief and optimism to the world- not Greta’s rhetoric on climate change nor greater economic surplus. It’s understanding of our human condition that we need, and that’s exactly what Griffith presents.

  • Norma Acutt on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    The Gum trees are highly inflammable BUT it takes a stupid, ignorant fool to light a match. So don’t blame the trees. Fire breaks are necessary too.

  • Rita Ross on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Just pause a moment…
    In NSW…Bob Car locked the gates to the National Parks and fire trails that the rangers used to keep an eye on fuel loads etc…
    The objective was to keep out the 4WDs from National Parks… to win the ‘Green’ vote in the then upcoming election!
    You see…
    The green don’t have to be in power to affect change at election time!
    How about we concentrate on cold back burns and get on with practical help for those that are on their knees through no fault of their own…
    PS… the donations should be dispersed through the CWA too!
    That’s how you get immediate help ‘on the ground’ without bullshit politics…

  • Lucia Jardim Theron on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Gum trees have slways existed! Aborigines knew how to work and manage the land plus all animals who once grazed and cleared forest floors etc. Humans are the fck problem. Not only dont we listen to the original custodians of the land but we blame trees! Honestly!

  • Colin Mancey on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    The gum trees were here before us.

  • Lauretta-Claire Nwogu on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Interesting to know! If we know the cause, then we can do something about Bushfires.

  • Mary Perry on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    I guess the idiots who lit lots of these fires realize they have now found someone to blame, so they can be free to do it again __

  • Tony Delucchi on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Arent the indigeneous to australia and isnt this all part of their own regeneration?

  • Liz Kiddle Marsh on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    He might have a point, they are laden with oil.

  • Joanna Cardew on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Allan Murray Sambell I have a Massive Cypress 6 feet from my house girth about 18 feet
    We get along just fine

  • Allan Jolliffe on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    No it is not gumtrees that causes bush it is these idiot greens that have stopped controle burning.

  • Jacqueline Attwood on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Allan Jolliffe thought there was controlled burning but 2 controlled fires got out of control.
    The Native Australians campaigned for bush weed control but it is now against a stupid law __

  • George Misipeka on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Why don’t we just blame humans. Period

  • George Misipeka on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Humans are going to strip every possible natural resource this earth has until there is nothing left. Prove me wrong???

  • Kai Wursig on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    And he is supposed to be educated ,Aboriginals have controlling the bushfires for hundreds of years,and wen we so-called educated take control and we ff it up.

  • Max Hards on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Just control the fuel load stop fooling about the government because you lost

  • Lisa Plemel on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    I agree: WE ARE THE SCOURGE

  • Lavinia Richards on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    he would be right

  • Paula Paling Murray on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    The Aborigines are the guardians of Australian bush…they have had “burn back” for centuries. Stop blaming the poor gum trees and consult with the experts of the Australian bush veld..Aborigines have all the answers if only someone would listen to them.

  • Freda Steyn Heunes on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Not just the bluegums- use bottle brush for fire lighters

  • Kerry Budworth on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Not much use unless all of the corrupt bankers, Government, pharma & corporate, religious etc read it & transform because they are the bastards that have destroyed our world

  • Keith Joel on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Yes what Australia needs is to get rid of another species, this is a completely sensible idea that has never backfired. Nope. Not once.

  • Corelli Butlion on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Yes, we are having the same problem here in South Africa .. Our natural indigenous fynbos is so beautiful but we now have Australian invasive wattle and gum trees which are a fire hazard of note.

  • Marcus Rowell on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Many of the comments here highlight that we humans appear to be “scourge”, we are only going to “strip every possible…resource” and that “overpopulation and greed are the problem”. They ask, how are some books and videos going to change the world?

    Well the most amazing thing is that by simply understanding the biological history of humans, our species can now change, and will want to change.

    With knowledge of our evolution from instinctive animals to fully conscious humans, we can understand how the evolution of consciousness required development of a self-less, co-operative, caring and loving instinctive state. And that our current angry, egocentric and alienated conscious, but human condition afflicted, state was a necessary but very noble and heroic step in our evolution. Now that biology has explained the principles of evolution, Jeremy Griffith has been able present the holistic big picture overview that explains our human condition. I encourage you all to read/watch and take on what is being said. Because it is only with this understanding that humanity has any future.

  • Maurice Chadwick on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Once all the humans are dispersed of…the world will begin repairing itself…__

  • Sereena Light on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Lance Fitchett I think we need to control our reproduction after all we share this planet with the animals and they need space and food resources too.

  • Christina Tiesler on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Carol Derks gums have adapted to survive in dry conditions like australia has

  • Peggy Herring on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Marcus Rowell there is no overpopulation!

  • Roger Ashton on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    This is tragic.he could be right,but with no method where will it go?

  • Patricia Holt on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    The real issue is humans full stop.

  • Susan Germon on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    George Misipeka ah but then there are the greenie warriors who no one listened to for 50 years.

  • Elisa Anne Deuxanges on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    and over population as well as d”forestation

  • Doug Lobban on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Totally agree that we need real understanding of ourselves and our human condition if we are going to get any where in really repairing the world and all the man made problems.

  • Greg Larson on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Marcus Rowell Evolution??______

  • Trish Karadimos on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Really guys. Australia does not follow cultural burning an doesnt do enough burn offs properly. They are no good, when the fires are on. forests in suburbia like Warrandyte havent been cleared or cleaned since the 2000. No lessons have been learnt since Black Friday 2009. Living in Europe now they cut and clean and clear their forests replant and the councils here cut all the hedges which is part of our rates. The rates in oz, you pay for them emptying the bins and thats it! Time for people to respect the earth and clean up like the indigenous people.

  • Sylvia Leathley on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Human for sure.

  • Gregg Sekela on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Population? How about re-stating it as a lack of natural resources for all the people?

  • Gregg Sekela on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Greed is the human condition. Everybody NEEDS resources.

  • Mark Sergi on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    We did repair the ozone layer but we have to get these morons who don’t think are behavior is to blame.

  • Janice Thompson on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    The real issue is the humans

  • Anne Weber Dutton on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    The sap or gum is an accelerant. These trees should be minimised in human settlement areas

  • Andrew Gibbs on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Gum trees are good for Bees

  • Julie D Mccloskey on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    That’s nuts ….then USA should ban PINE…….. PINE TREES …..lots of gum

  • Izak Khomo on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Its obvious I kept on telling people that. The Eucalyptus Tree the so called Blue Gum Tree and the Pine Tree are two trees that burn in their natural state. Fire wood from these trees burn directly without they being dried up. The Eucalyptus is the indigenous Tree of Australia all forest are made up of the Tree, in other words the Australian Forest are ready to burn. The thing is that the trees have oils in them.

  • Lizzi Tarr on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Yes. Right. Tis the humans.. we ruin Earth

  • Cynthia Louise Ausserhoffer on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    I agree

  • Silvia Wischmeyer on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    It’s all about money

  • Jean Paul Da Silva on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    No its not “humans” its certain humans it is the billionaire class and the central banking controllers that have kept us so voraciously hungry for jobs jobs jobs in mining,tree felling,poor nations rip the earth to shreds trying to make a living.Australia will be turned into one giant mine because of their greed system of Usuary.

  • Emanuelle Desfeux on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Marcus Rowell Hey Marcus, I’ve listened the videos but I don’t understand why it will change anything? If Platon explained it centuries before and it changed nothing! Could you explain to me? I don’t get it ? The greedy 1% won’t change? They will destroy the planet before humanity change? Tell me, please il you got the time for a frenchie?

  • Patricia Lynn Bird on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Often Humans need to blame something or someone for their bad failings

  • Charlotte Masango on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Patricia Lynn Bird And bad behaviours.We humans are killing the world.

  • Charlotte Masango on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    This is the kind of education we need to understand our world .

  • Theodore Hendrik Kruger on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Eucalyptus and Bluegums is allso the trouble makers in SA’s fires as well as the Port Jackson, they took over SA, braught in from Australia, one of the BIG STUPID things that were did without proper investigation

  • Dana Te Whare on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Get ba k to the winter burn off to control the forests blaze

  • Valerie Mccluskey on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    What about the arsonists?

  • Peggy Coffey on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    You are so right

  • Tim O'neal on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Cut down all trees graze the grass down to nothing . Problem solved.

  • Marc Marilene Bataille on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Gum tree = Eucalyptus tree

  • Mike Hoffmann on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    The real issues are to much Bulshit .

  • Susan O'Brien on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Some smart person decided the Australian gum trees would grow well in Israel and now they have large bushfires every 3 years or so…the trees just combust if the gas they produce builds up, their seeds need the fire to produce ash so that they can grow a lot of Australian Bush regenerates only if there has been a fire

  • Michael Lawhead on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    82 environmental wackos were arrested for starting the fires.

  • Robin Head on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Which came first the trees or the humans?

  • Regina Hausermann on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    I see this exatly so, so meny Gumtrees is like oil in fire, one is burning,the gumtreeoil rans like normal oil. The half of fire cut be nothing, without gumtrees.

  • Karen Bennett on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    So true. Full of oil & the greenies refusing to clear the fuel below the trees.

  • Mac Macdonald on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    As a visito to Australia some years ago could not help noticing those gum trees so close the houses were a fire hazard, I was told that the Greens were responsible for a ban on cutting down those trees near the housed

  • Olivia Camm on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Its come a bit late for humanity, but at least we have a better understanding of human nature

  • Thomas Murray on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Ban the sale of matches. The bastards who start the fires can’t afford lighters!

  • John Hunter on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Rosalie Busse harvest the oil

  • Shirley Reaburn on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    The eucalypts were here well before humans. We have to learn how to live with them.

  • Deslea Brittain on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    The Aboriginal folk certainly did and managed it all, we decided to cut down all the old trees for paddocks, then replanted them, then moved to the bush to live. Little odd methinks

  • Colleen Henriksen on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    We have Gum trees in Cape Town?

  • Maria Patrick on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    If we let the world heal,globally so will human kind survive,

  • Venetia Jacobs on January 1, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Colleen Henriksen Gum trees are very much a part of our history in South Africa. … Approximately 300 species of Eucalypts in this diverse genus of over 600 or so known species of evergreen trees of the myrtle family, were originally introduced into Southern Africa from Australia. Dec 4, 2017

  • Gareth Grout on January 2, 2020 at 12:21 am

    What we need is a good killer virus to reduce the population!

  • Dennis Clarkson on February 2, 2020 at 5:08 am

    Us , that’s you and me . We are the bumbling caretakers of this planet . We need to clean up our act . Our quest for personal wealth at the expense of other people and the planet is destroying us .

  • Lesley Stolp on February 2, 2020 at 8:08 am

    He is right these trees suck up all the water and the are not indigenous to South Africa either and yet we have hundreds of them

  • Maureen Clinton on February 2, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    When God thinks we have destroyed what he gave us he will take it away in a flash __

  • Sharon Parry Montile on February 5, 2020 at 4:18 am

    The answer to the Australian problem is a plant from South Africa commonly called “spekboom”. It reduces carbon dioxide, can grow in harsh dry climates, is highly nutritious for animals and humans and will not burn easily as it has small fleshy leaves.

  • Sharron Kay Morden on February 5, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    World Transformation Movement WOW! I am in the process of reading your book which is coming from a more expanded consciousness from the responses you are receiving here. Stay true ~ many are listening and learning from you!

  • Corelli Butlion on February 5, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    I agree .. we have imported gum trees and wattle from Australia in South Africa and they are dynamite in a fire situation .. wish they had never been introduced to our fynbos vegetation. We should send some Spekboom to Australia ..

  • Michele Brittle Donovan on February 5, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    So very true

  • Peter Lawson on February 5, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    Friederike Bochmann correct

  • Laura Richey on February 6, 2020 at 3:51 am

    Of course it is Humans.

  • Helen Lincoln on February 6, 2020 at 4:41 am

    Heart condition of man is the culprit.

  • Sue Collins on February 6, 2020 at 5:34 am

    Eucalyptus Trees? They are the preferred home of honey bees and the source of a valuable medicine.

  • Danielle Lamirante on February 7, 2020 at 1:20 am

    I agree

  • Mary-anne Botha on February 8, 2020 at 3:48 am

    This is what humans are doing to our world no respect for animals or nature big companies are also destroying our world and air is so poluted that we dont breath in fresh air anymore i agree with you Muriel Mita global warming is a lot of crap iets more like global destroying taking place

  • Mary-anne Botha on February 8, 2020 at 3:50 am

    And this is our ocean what a disgrace

  • Anne Sparkes on February 8, 2020 at 4:48 am

    Why blame the gum trees, they were there before the humans!

  • Gianni Caschera on February 8, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    Greed

  • Jez Gray on February 8, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Christ almighty do you not think Australia has been damaged by enough introduced species already?!

  • Marney Nicol on February 9, 2020 at 12:26 am

    Who conditined us?
    The same people who give us inappropriate technology

  • Ann Lockwood on February 9, 2020 at 2:44 am

    Most definitely.

  • Pusha Davis on February 9, 2020 at 7:59 am

    We all have a responsibility to understand this and evolve for the continued existence of us and for the betterment of the planet and all those who inhabit it.

  • Kenneth Peterson on February 9, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    Yes. The condition is too many humans on the planet.

  • Dirk Janse van Rensburg on February 9, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    Pauline Hobson so you live on mud island hahahahaha explain what you think is ignorance on my behalf please…

  • Clifford O'hanlon on February 9, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    The real issue is the modern land management, get the Aborigines to tell you how they managed it for years with no problem.

  • Roxi Kleinhaus on February 9, 2020 at 11:28 pm

    Gum trees cause a lot of damage in South Africa too. Especially their ability to get to the water sources before indiginous plants get their fill__

  • Alan John Ingram on February 10, 2020 at 1:28 am

    He must be a genius, I don’t even live there (yet) and I told people in Oz that it is the Eucalyptus sap from the trees :(

  • Kevin Agnelli on February 10, 2020 at 2:43 am

    Good thing we know more than god and Mother Nature.

  • Maarten Christenhusz on February 11, 2020 at 6:38 am

    People have been moving into the Australian bush and then they become scared that their house may burn down. Maybe not move into the forest in the first place?

  • Tess Watson on February 11, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Brilliant piece! MUST READ.

  • Rosalie Busse on February 11, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    Eucalyptus trees are full of oil – hence the burning fires!

  • Truth on February 12, 2020 at 1:33 am

    Perhaps they should stop making forests more flammable with chemtrails/aluminum, barium etc…Perhaps they should stop controlling the weather. Then maybe we can all get on board.

  • Dee Kerwin on February 12, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    Don’t forget the port jacksons

  • Allie Losper on March 2, 2020 at 6:21 am

    Name & shame the people responsible for destroying nature and our eco-system.

  • Pamela Shrives on March 2, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    Lesley Stolp too lazy to replant the pine forests. Blur gums can get cut down & regrow on their own. I have a plantation behind my house which for years was pine which is now blue gum.

  • Celeste Aldrich on March 2, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Now considered an invasive tree in South Africa!

  • Freyja Roux on March 2, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    Australian trees, gum trees especially, are a fire hazard here in South Africa as well, us south Africans are trying our best to eradicate all Australian alien trees, all of which have a devastating impact on our natural environment… Why and how are these trees even here?