James Temple, senior editor for energy at MIT Technology Review, blames climate change for the Aussie bush fires.

Tens of thousands of Australians are fleeing their homes as hundreds of fires rage across the continent’s southeast coast. And yes, climate change is almost certainly to blame for the extent of the disaster.

[…]Summer wildfires are common in Australia, but climate change is making them worse.

Which is a fair enough call. We can all agree that the climate is getting hotter. How much of that is our fault is a matter of debate. But this not the same thing as saying climate change, and especially man-made climate change, is the root cause of the fires.

A firefighter at the firefront. The BFD.

Spring rainfall has declined in recent decades, even as temperatures rise, extreme heat events become more common, and droughts turn more severe, according to a 2018 report by Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology. Those forces have contributed to a greater number of days with “very high fire dangers,” and helped extend the fire season into spring.

[…] Ignoring the dangers: Australians in fire-ravaged regions angrily criticized Prime Minister Scott Morrison for downplaying the dangers of climate change, and failing to act on repeated recommendations to bolster the nation’s defenses against wildfires and other disasters. Indeed, Morrison’s conservative coalition successfully ran on a pro-coal campaign, and he’s since pledged to outlaw forms of climate activism. In recent weeks, he disputed the link between the fires and climate change.

Note the subtle dig here. The conservative coalition, and by extension conservatives, are to blame for the fires! Not a lack of preparedness, not Green policy, and certainly not the fact that the Greens have opposed and continue to oppose hazard reduction. /sarc.

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