Australian bushfires were caused by leftist enviro policies


Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has taken a lot of heat for the fires that swept over 15.6 million acres, and it might not be over. Reportedly February is a bad month.

Some climate scholars say the destruction is the result of years of environmental policies greatly discouraging prescribed burns, brush clean-ups, tree-thinning, and firebreak-building in the name of forest and habitat preservation.

That, along with increasingly denser populations and ane extended drought after years of above-average rainfall and high foliage growth, has become a recipe for disaster, according to Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute.

“Once the drought hit, all this new vegetation means there are new and bigger fires. And the reason there are more and bigger fires is that they have basically stopped prescribed burns,” said Mr. Ebell.

He called Australia’s policy, “a stunning example of criminal human mismanagement.”


He and Mr. Ebell cited data indicating that prescribed burn activity has plummeted over the past 50 years while the area charred by bush fires has trended upward.

“They will be subject to horrific fires every year until the understory is cleaned up, with or without global warming,” Mr. Michaels said. “The brush dries out enough every year to burn because of the average climate, not climate change.”

Climate activists and celebrities think preservation and conservation are all that matters, and they are willing to destroy the economy to do it.

There is an issue of arson in some cases. The New South Wales police charged 183 people on January 6 with fire-related offenses, including 24 for deliberately setting fires, 53 for failing to comply with the fire ban, and 47 for discarding cigarettes or matches.

Sadly, They Copied the USA

As for policy, Australia “started following the same policies as the western United States and setting aside land, locking it up, not allowing thinning in part for species habitat,” he said.

Kelly O’Shanassy, CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation, said big “polluting corporations are responsible for this crisis but are evading responsibility.”

“Record-breaking drought and heat are making bushfire conditions evermore catastrophic. This is climate damage,” she said in a statement. “And the biggest cause of climate damage is burning coal.”

Stealing Farmers’ Land Was a Bad Idea

Australian climate skeptic Joanne Nova says that isn’t the case. The JoNova blog includes posts arguing that the 178-year record shows that drought has not increased and that Australians have lowered their per capita greenhouse gas emissions by 40% since 1990.

“This carbon reduction comes at a price: We stole land off our farmers without compensation, locked up native regrowth and created million-hectare fire hazards all over the country, and we pay the highest electricity rates in the world,” she said in a post late last week.

“A related reason is the increasing pressure by the public to reduce prescribed burns, clearing of dead vegetation, and cutting of fire breaks, which the public believes to have short-term benefits to beauty and wildlife preservation, but results in long-term consequences that are just the opposite and much worse,” Mr. Spencer said on his Global Warming blog.

He said blaming the bush fires on human-caused climate change is “mostly alarmist nonsense, with virtually no basis in fact.”

Mr. Ebell concurred. “Taking advantage of the bush fires in Australia is really strong evidence that the global warming crowd has no scruples at all,” he said. “It’s clear this isn’t global warming. This is gross mismanagement of resources.”


California faces a similar situation.

Bush fires are similar to the deadly California wildfires sparked by power lines in forests choked with dead trees followed by drought and anti-timber policies.

“Both California and Australia have made it very hard to do the prescribed burning that is necessary to prevent catastrophic fires,” said CEI senior fellow Patrick Michaels, who served as Virginia state climatologist for 27 years.

Scott Stephens, a professor of fire science at the University of California, Berkeley, said 20% to 25% of the wildfire damage resulted from climate change, and “75% is the way we manage lands and develop our landscape.”

Retired Fish & Wildlife biologist Jim Beers addressed that very issue when the Alaska wildfires were out of control in 2015.

Instead of dealing with the actual issues of inadequate forest management, the enviros go off into irrelevant, unconnected issues of climate change. That is where the money and efforts go — to no avail.

Mr. Beers wrote: The fires in Alaska and the western United States are entirely due to fire fuel accumulation on government land and landscapes inhospitable to access, fuel management or firefighting:

This is the danger of politicizing everything.

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