Guest essay by Eric Worrall
British TV personalities including Piers Morgan have attacked Aussie politician Craig Kelly on air during an interview, over Kelly’s claim that dry weather and the buildup of fuel load is the reason for Australia’s horrific bushfire season.
‘You are a climate denier’: Craig Kelly in car crash British TV interview over bushfire crisis
By Bevan Shields
Updated January 7, 2020 — 9.03am
London: Liberal MP Craig Kelly has defended Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s handling of the bushfire crisis during a television interview in Britain that descended into chaos after the hosts savaged the self-proclaimed climate sceptic.
The backbencher was called a “disgrace” and told to “wake up” during the combative encounter that threatens to undermine Morrison’s efforts to reassure Australians that his government accepts the link between climate change and extreme weather events.
Nodding in agreement as he was introduced to viewers as a climate sceptic, Kelly argued the fire crisis was caused by high fuel loads and the drought.
He also claimed there was “simply no” long-term trend to back up the widespread conclusions of scientists and other experts that the Australian climate was warming.
“To try to make out as some politicians have to hijack this debate, exploit this tragedy and push their ideological barrow, that somehow or another the Australian government could have done something by reducing its carbon emissions that would have reduced these bushfires is just complete nonsense,” Kelly said.
Read more: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/europe/you-are-a-climate-denier-craig-kelly-in-car-crash-british-tv-interview-over-bushfire-crisis-20200107-p53pd9.html
The claim by British TV personalities that anthropogenic climate change is making Australian bushfires worse is pure ignorance, not supported by the evidence.
MP Craig Kelly is spot on about the lack of long term drought trend. Although he later recanted a little, earlier this year Professor Andy Pitman explained in a lecture in Sydney science can’t tell us what impact climate change will have on Australian droughts, because there is no long term trend.
As for Craig Kelly’s claim about fuel load, I can confirm this by personal observation. My local area, much of the region along the road from my hometown to the Queensland state capital Brisbane is a vast tinderbox of dry, scrubby bush and dry grass growing on the ground between the trees, overlaid with flammable eucalyptus deadwood ranging from twigs to fallen tree trunks, all ready to be ignited by the slightest spark (see the image at the top of the page).
Eucalypts, the dominant tree type in the Australian bush, shed tremendous quantities of dead branches and leaves. In the absence of frequent controlled burns the dead plant material rapidly self assembles into near perfect fire starting structures, with lightweight material laced with flammable eucalyptus oil at the bottom, tough spindly branches which ensure lots of airflow, all mixed in with heavier branches which consolidate any fire which starts in the lightweight material.
Hardly anybody in Australia dares to clear the bush and trees away from their houses, an obvious safety precaution in a bushfire area. People who make their homes or properties safe from fire risk financial ruin under laws based by urban green politicians, if the government catches them clearing native vegetation. Nobody, no matter how remote, is safe from the scourge of potentially lethal government bullying; Aussie state governments use satellites and AI to target and prosecute people trying to keep their properties safe from bushfires.
I am not personally at risk from bushfire, but I know people in my area who could lose their homes if it all ignites.
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