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'Arson is not caused by climate change': Row breaks out over real cause of Australia's bushfires

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'Arson is not caused by climate change': Row breaks out over real cause of Australia's bushfires Empty 'Arson is not caused by climate change': Row breaks out over real cause of Australia's bushfires

Post  Admin on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 5:26 pm

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7860635/Australian-bushfire-crisis-183-people-arrested-24-charged-starting-fires.html?ito=social-facebook&fbclid=IwAR3Bz5553do6gZJBDlxIBR0twLmZ9KWTLUZDOhMNOQ9zeyyFCzF87q4NSsw
'Arson is not caused by climate change': 
Row breaks out over real cause of Australia's bushfires after it emerges more than 180 people have been arrested over blazes in the past year
Liberal MP has claimed arson to blame for bushfires, rather than climate change
Craig Kelly, a climate change skepticism, appeared on Good Morning Britain 
24 people have been charged with bushfire-related offences this fire season
A further 53 people arrested for failing to comply with state-imposed fire bans   
At least 25 people have died, and 1,500 homes have been destroyed so far 
Some have seized on arrests to say that impact of climate change is overstated 
By SOPHIE TANNO and BRITTANY CHAIN FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA 

PUBLISHED: 14:15, 7 January 2020 | UPDATED: 00:42, 14 January 2020
A row has broken out over the cause of Australia's deadly bushfire crisis, with Liberal MP Craig Kelly claiming that 'arson is not caused by climate change'. 

The MP, who is known for his climate change skepticism, put forward his opinion on why the country is gripped in a fire emergency during an appearance on ABC's RN Breakfast show. 
'Unprecedented' numbers of people had been arrested and charged with arson offences, he claimed. 'The arson is not caused by climate change.' 
The claims of arson have already become a political battleground, with some politicians and commentators seizing on them to argue that the impact of climate change has been overstated.  

Australian Liberal MP Craig Kelly told Good Morning Britain: 'What causes the main thing of the fires is the build up of the fuel on the ground and the drought' +10

Mr Kelly also defended Prime Minister Scott Morrison's decision to holiday in Hawaii amid the crisis during his interview on Good Morning Britain +10
Backbencher Mr Kelly earlier sparked a row on UK television after claiming there was 'no link' between climate change and the fires in an interview on Good Morning Britain. 

He told host Piers Morgan and Laura Tobin: 'What causes the main thing of the fires is the build up of the fuel on the ground and the drought.' 

During the interview Mr Kelly also defended Prime Minister Scott Morrison's decision to holiday in Hawaii amid the crisis. 
Miss Tobin hit back at Mr Kelly, branding him a 'climate denier'. 

She told him: 'We want everyone in the world to lower the global temperature rise by 1.5C, you [Australia] can't even commit to 2C.

'You have the second highest carbon emission on earth and you are burying your head in the sand.
'You're not a climate sceptic - you're a climate denier.' 
Following the interview, Mr Kelly caused outrage by calling meteorologist Laura Tobin an 'ignorant Pommy weather girl' on Twitter. He later told ABC News that Tobin 'had no idea what she was talking about.' 
Miss Tobin hit back at the MP, pointing out her degree in Physics and Meteorology and telling him: 'I'm not a weather girl.'   
Australian backbencher Craig Kelly (pictured) told Good Morning Britain hosts there was 'no link' between climate change and the fires, putting the blame on arson instead +10
Todd Starnes, a conservative talk show host in the US, also leaped on the arson arrests to make a similar argument. 

'It turns out - climate change has nothing to do with the humanitarian crisis unfolding Down Under,' he said. 
More than 180 people have been arrested accused of fire-related offences since the beginning of 2019, including 24 in NSW during the current horror fire season which has left 25 dead and destroyed more than 2,000 homes. 

On the New South Wales south coast, where at least nine people have died since the fire season picked up in October, 29 blazes have been deliberately lit. 

The fast moving Myall Creek bushfire spread rapidly throughout northern New South Wales +10
This map shows the statistics across each state of Australia where people have been charged for lighting fires in 2019 +10
This map shows the statistics across each state of Australia where people have been charged for lighting fires in 2019
As the fire front approached, the sky was filled with orange flames and thick, grey plumes of smoke 
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Scientists believe climate change is amplifying the conditions necessary for firestorms to form.  

Physicist Scott Menor said that even if all the fires were started by arson, 'climate change made the difference between throwing a match in water to throwing it in gasoline'.  

In addition, analysis by Dr Timothy Graham from the Queensland University of Technology suggests that there may be a deliberate misinformation campaign on Twitter to cast doubt on the effect of climate change. 

Tweets with the hashtag #ArsonEmergency were more likely to come from suspect accounts than others such as #AustraliaFire, he found, according to ZDNet. 

The fires have caught the attention of Hollywood, where numerous movie stars used Sunday night's Golden Globes to draw attention to the blazes - some of them saying that the situation was proof of the need to do more to fight climate change.  

A kookaburra perches on a burnt tree in the aftermath of a bushfire in Wallabi Point, in northern NSW +10
A kookaburra perches on a burnt tree in the aftermath of a bushfire in Wallabi Point, in northern NSW

In Queensland, police have arrested 101 people accused of starting bushfires, 69 juveniles and 32 adults. 

Five people were arrested for allegedly setting bushland alight in Tasmania - and a further 10 in South Australia. 

Meanwhile in Victoria, where locals have experienced some of the most catastrophic conditions the nation has ever seen, 43 people were charged with firebug offences.  

'Police are well aware that we need to take action against people, whatever that might be, in this time it is particularly a heightened risk of fire activity and we've seen the devastation it causes,' NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said on Tuesday.

'We make no apologies for being so vigilant about that.'  

Allison Marion's photo of her son Finn fleeing the advancing bushfires in the seaside town of Mallacoota in Victoria's far east has become an symbol of this year's bushfire crisis
Allison Marion's photo of her son Finn fleeing the advancing bushfires in the seaside town of Mallacoota in Victoria's far east has become an symbol of this year's bushfire crisis

Mitch Parish, a former arson squad detective, said the international frenzy surrounding the bushfire crisis would only increase a 'vanity arsonists' desire to light an inferno. 

'It's got to the stage where they're seeing all the publicity on the fires … and they get bit of a buzz because of all the attention,' Mr Parish said.

'People get very emotional and passionate (about fires) and feel a lot of power because it's a very ­destructive force.' 

NSW Rural Fire Service volunteer Blake Banner was charged with lighting seven fires in the south coast region.

The 19-year-old was allegedly spotted leaving a location as a fire spread rapidly and arrived at a fire ground to help put out a blaze before any of his fellow volunteers on another occasion, police say.

He was granted bail and intends to fight the accusations.

 Update: Since first publication of this article, this article has been updated to included the correct figures for 2019. We are happy to set the record straight.
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