As the old adage goes, there are lies, more lies and then there are statistics. Never a dull moment when a natural disaster and tragedy can be tied to Trump. While CM thought his comments the other week were highly inappropriate, it seems that the press now want to throw a ‘climate change’ angle as the main cause of the bushfires.
A study in the journal Science determined the global burnt area from fires, rather than growing, had declined by roughly 25% from 1999 to 2017. California wildfire data reviewed by the USFS shows a trend that since the peak in 1980, there have been fewer and fewer wildfires in California. So no smoking gun (no pun intended) with climate change.
As pointed out last week, the budget of the US Department of Agriculture Forestry Service shows monies directed at wildland fire “preparedness” and “suppression” have risen 32% since he took office.
So how are these fires being caused?
The Australian Institute for Criminology (AIC) noted over a 5 year study period that half of fires were deemed suspicious or deliberately lit. Another 35% were accidentally lit. So 85% were down to human factors, not climate. The statistics were based on data comprising on average 54,000 bush fires per annum. The US Department of the Interior (DOI) notes that 90% of wildland fires are caused by humans, 49% of that being deliberate. So there is consistency in bushfire data across nations.
If CNN and others in the mainstream media did their homework they could have taken their other favourite form of social justice by pointing out the following facts. The AIC sees that while the data is somewhat sketchy that the most common profile of arsonists was “white male, mid-20s, patchy employment record, often above average intelligence, but poor academic achievement and poor social development skills…56% of convicted structural arsonists and 37% of bushfire arsonists in NSW had a prior conviction for a previous offence. ”
Had the simplest of research been done, rather than tie bogus claims that contradict pet activist causes, they could switch to identity politics instead.
Above all the political wrangling, spare a thought for those that have died, lost property and those first responders dealing with the problem.