As the Australian media-elite relentlessly hammers its “climate emergency” narrative during Australia’s bushfire crisis, many citizen journalists have been digging through Australia’s available old newspapers, turning up story after story to debunk hyperbolic media claims. The Green-left have been doing some digging, too.

The Green-left, immediately and enthusiastically echoed by the luvvies in the taxpayer-funded media, seized on a single sentence in the 2008 Garnaut report, to claim that “they knew” these fires were going to happen.

But did they really?

Firstly, the Green-left’s soothsayer didn’t “know” anything: he repeated a projection. Projections are not “knowledge” in the sense of being certain that something will happen. Climate modellers typically make dozens of projections. Most of them do not eventuate. Seizing on just one apparently successful projection, while ignoring the others, is the sort of fallacious reasoning that convinces gullible rubes that John Edwards really does talk to dead people.

As it happens, when cherry-picked from Garnaut’s voluminous report, without any context, that single sentence might appear eerily prophetic.

“Recent projections of fire weather suggest that fire seasons will start earlier, end slightly later and generally be more intense. This effect increases over time, but should be directly observable by 2020.” (Page 118).

Talk about Nostradamus! Except…

Even with Garnaut’s (more credible) bushfire prediction, it is important to drill into the detail of what was said (something the ABC/Fairfax/Guardian climate change cheer squad failed to do). The 2008 report relied on a bushfires study commissioned by the Climate Institute of Australia. The four authors (Lucas, Hennessy, Mills and Bathols) wrote of how:

“Bushfires are an inevitable occurrence in Australia. (In the South-East) the winter and spring rains allow fuel growth, while the dry summers allow fire danger to build. This normal risk is exacerbated by periodic droughts that occur as a part of natural inter-annual climate variability.”

At no point did they say bushfires would be caused by climate change. Their main conclusion was to point to an increase in the number of ‘fire danger days’ on the Australian mainland, marginally increasing the length of our bushfire seasons by 2020. That looks about right.

But Garnaut wasn’t “predicting” anything. Much less fingering climate change as the dastardly culprit.

Elsewhere, Garnaut was sceptical about linking climate change to specific weather events and outcomes. “Single events, such as an intense tropical cyclone or a long-lived heatwave”, he wrote, “cannot be directly attributed to climate change.” (Page 106) Presumably this also applies to a dry spell and a bad bushfire season.

Garnaut is also no friend to the Klimate Kult’s other favourite impending climate catastrophes. Aren’t we all gonna die, our economies and societies wiped off the face of the planet by a vengeful Gaia?

Re-reading the Garnaut Report is like an antidote to Green-Left hysteria. Are you worried about heat-related deaths due to global warming, people literally frying alive? Garnaut forecast, “In NSW, the number of annual temperature-related deaths is expected to decrease by 30 percent” (Page 126)

What about the Australian economy being destroyed, sector by sector, with mass unemployment from the impact of climate change? Garnaut said, “Australians will be substantially wealthier in 2100 in terms of goods and services, despite setbacks from climate change.” (Page 127) It hardly sounds like the end of the world.

Elsewhere, Garnaut’s projections are as off the mark as a TV psychic guessing that they’re being contacted by some whose name starts with L, no, A, or is that C? E, anyone? Anyone?

He predicted sea level rises of up to 59 cms, which are not occurring. He said Pacific nations such as Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands would be submerged, which hasn’t happened. (Page 149) He forecast, “climate refugees could constitute the fastest growing proportion of refugees globally”, which is ludicrous.

Garnaut wasn’t completely wrong, but he wasn’t infallibly right, either. Cherry-picking a single sentence that appears to pander to your hysterical doom-mongering is the sort of irrational blindness that keeps frauds, shonks and psychics in business.

If you enjoyed this BFD article please consider sharing it with your friends.