by WorldTribune Staff, January 10, 2020
Arson and general carelessness are responsible for most of the bushfires that are devastating Australia, reports say.
New South Wales police released a statement saying that, since Nov. 8, 2019, 183 people, including 40 juveniles, have been charged with 205 bushfire-related offenses.
Of the 183 charged, 24 were cited for deliberately setting fires. Another “53 people have had legal actions for allegedly failing to comply with a total fire ban,” the statement said, adding that an additional “47 people have had legal actions for allegedly discarding a lighted cigarette or match on land.”
At least 26 people, and some 1 billion animals, have been killed as bushfires burned more than 12 million acres.
Dr. Paul Read, co-director of the National Centre for Research in Bushfire and Arson said the great majority of bushfires are deliberately set by “cunning, furtive and versatile criminals,” reports ABC News.
“About 85 percent are related to human activity, 13 percent confirmed arson and 37 percent suspected arson,” he said. “The remainder are usually due to reckless fire lighting or even just children playing with fire.”
Dr. Read said holidays and summer were a bad combination when it came to criminal fire starters.
“School holidays are a prime time for firebugs, but especially over summer,” he said. “The kids have got time to get out there and light, and the most dangerous adults choose hot days.”
Global warming alarmists wasted no time in seizing on Australia’s suffering to “push the dangerous myth that climate change is to blame,” New York Post columnist Miranda Devine noted.
Cate Blanchett declared at the Golden Globes on Sunday: “When one country faces a climate disaster, we all face a climate disaster,”
Russell Crowe said: “Make no mistake. The tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change-based.”
Teen climate evangelist Greta Thunberg tweeted: “Australia is on fire” and decried the lack of “political action [to combat] the climate crisis.”
“Australia is committing climate suicide,” said a headline in The New York Times.
Devine wrote for the NY Post: “I’m sorry, but I lived in Australia through the past two decades of escalating fire crises and it’s not climate change that has caused today’s disaster, but the criminal negligence of governments that have tried to buy green votes by locking up vast tracts of land as national parks, yet failed to spend the money needed to control ground fuel and maintain fire trails.”
Instead, governments “bowed to an ideology that obstructs necessary hazard reduction and prevents landowners from clearing vegetation around their own properties, all in thrall to the god of ‘biodiversity,’ ” Devine wrote.
Devine cited bushfire researcher Dr. Phil Cheney, “who has spent 30 years trying to convince authorities that if ground fuel is reduced in a scientific, systematic fashion every year, fire intensity is reduced to a manageable level, no matter what the weather conditions. A quadrupling of ground fuel means a 13-fold increase in the heat generated by a fire. Hazard reduction won’t prevent fire but it will reduce its intensity so that it can be controlled.”
Devine continued: “So whether or not you believe the most dire predictions of climate alarmists makes no difference. We can’t dial down the Earth’s temperature any more than we can lock up every teenage arsonist. The only practical way to prevent unmanageable fires is to reduce the one variable we control: ground fuel.”
Australian Capital Territory forester and former acting fire control officer Ian McArthur said that climate change “has not caused the current fire crisis. Long unburnt fuels in national parks are the primary cause. Basic fire management states that a fire needs oxygen, a heat source and fuel. The only one of those that can be manipulated is fuel. The more fuel, the more intense the fire, the harder it becomes to suppress the fire.”
In 2019, Devine noted, “under pressure from green activists, the government of New South Wales, home to much of the fire destruction today, even listed prescribed burning as a ‘key threatening process’ under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Climate change has become an excuse for green mismanagement.”