Climate Change Affects Australia’s Epic Wildfires — No Matter What Prime Minister Says

Weather disasters no longer occur in a vacuum, and it didn't take long before the debate over the role of climate change in the fires surfaced

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Rob Griffith / AP

Firefighters control flames during hazard reduction in Bilpin, 46 miles from Sydney, Oct. 23, 2013.

Correction appended: Oct. 24, 2013, 2:05 a.m. E.T.

Wildfires are nothing new in Australia, a sunburned country with plenty of vegetation to burn to a crisp when temperatures skyrocket during the southern-hemisphere summer. Deadly wildfires are immortalized in Australian history, including Black Saturday in 2009, when a frighteningly fast wildfire in southern Australia killed 173 people in a single day.

The blazes that burned in southeastern Australia this past week may not go down in history — just one death has so far been reported, which is a testament to the bravery of the country’s firefighters and the experience that most Australians have in dealing with fires. But the wildfires did manage to burn more than 121,000 hectares, and the smoke blackened the skies of Sydney, Australia’s largest city, while damage is set to exceed $100 million. The fires also came unusually early — October is still the springtime in Australia, though the state of New South Wales in southeastern Australia experienced its hottest September on record, on the heels of the country’s warmest 12-month period on record as well. Springtime or no, the region was primed to burn.

Weather disasters no longer occur in a vacuum, however, and it didn’t take long before the debate over the role of climate change in the fires surfaced. Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, didn’t waste time linking the wildfires and man-made global warming:

The World Meteorological Organization has not established a direct link between this wildfire and climate change — yet. But what is absolutely clear is the science is telling us that there are increasing heat waves in Asia, Europe and Australia; that there these will continue; that they will continue in their intensity and in their frequency.

Had Figueres made her comments just a couple of months before, before then Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was replaced in an election by the conservative Tony Abbott, she might have been received warmly. Rudd, who headed Australia’s progressive Labor Party, has called climate change the “greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time,” and his predecessor Julia Gillard (whom Rudd unseated in a Labor leadership contest before the Australian elections) actually instituted a carbon tax.

But Abbott was elected in part because of his opposition to that tax — and he has rejected any idea that climate change could be playing a role in the wildfires:

Fire is a part of the Australian experience. It has been since humans were on this continent … Climate change is real as I have often said and we should take strong action against it, but these fires are certainly not a function of climate change. They are a function of life in Australia.

Abbott is partly right — wildfires are part of the landscape in Australia, and scientists haven’t yet said whether man-made warming played a specific, detectable role in these fires. Such climate-attribution studies can take years. Records in Australia on wildfires aren’t very deep, which makes it difficult to make judgments about what’s normal and what’s not. But scientists have studied how warming might make wildfires in Australia more common and more destructive. A study published last year in the International Journal of Climatology looked at fire-danger data from 38 sites around Australia between 1973 and 2010, and found that 16 of them showed a significant increase in fire weather. (None of the sites showed a decrease.) The study also found distinct increases in fire risk during the spring and autumn, meaning the fire season was getting longer.

Another study, published in 2007, found that Australia was experiencing increases of 10% to 40% on fire-prone days between 1980 to 2000 and 2001 to 2007. A third study, published in 2012 in the journal Ecosphere, predicted that climate change will cause dry parts in the middle latitudes and Australia to experience more fires in the future.

It’s really not that complicated — of much of Australia, climate change is likely to mean hotter, drier weather, and hotter, drier weather is perfect for starting and sustaining wildfires. That doesn’t mean that reducing carbon emissions is the only or even the best way to reduce wildfire risk, especially in the short term. Smarter vegetation management that cuts down on the amount of fuel wildfires have to burn would have a quicker impact, as would limiting dangerous activities within the “red zone” — the most recent fires in New South Wales were accidentally started by a military exercise.

But here’s the reality: Australia is a country that has always lived on the edge of an inhospitable climate, which means it is poised to suffer more than most from unchecked warming in the future. That’s something the new Prime Minister would be wise to remember.

An earlier version of this article misstated that New South Wales is in southwestern Australia. It is in southeastern Australia.

An earlier version of this article misstated the name of the executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. She is Christiana Figueres, not Christina.

An earlier version of this article misstated the name of a former Prime Minister of Australia. She is Julia Gillard, not Gilliard.

61 comments
LeslieGraham
LeslieGraham

Spot on Time article - it's good to see that more and more media outlets having started telling the truth.

We don't have time for flat-earthers.

DuaneFerguson
DuaneFerguson

Given that Aboriginal people have used fire to manage the ecosystem for thousands of years http://www.jcu.edu.au/cds/public/groups/everyone/documents/technical_report/jcutst_056280.pdf and many Australian native plants - Eucalyptus in particular - require fire for germination processes, the claim that 'fire is part of the Australian experience' as absolutely correct (I don't believe I've just agreed with Tony Abbott). As for the article's statement 'Smarter vegetation management that cuts down on the amount of fuel wildfires have to burn..' - tell that to a Greens Senator, and see how far you get.

MP412C
MP412C

So Global Warming now includes the arming starting the fire with ordinance practice does it? As that's how the biggest fire at near Lithgow (nowhere near Western Australia but in Western NSW....) started. Also, thanks the Greens Party, back burning to help lessen the extent of these fires that do occur naturally, has also been massively reduced... Nice effort.

Indyone
Indyone

@Bryan Walsh - So wrong on so many levels. Don't you have internet to do a bit of research or was it you wrote some nonsense before bed? Poor writing.

use_reason
use_reason

Fanatical, unbalanced, faith-based, biased, poorly researched and paradigm confirming drivel. Once upon a 'Time' (just like a fairytale), your news articles were factually informative and worth spending a hard earned dollar on at the local newsagency. Nowadays the bias is telling, the balance lacking and the factual information fits within a faith based paradigm.

Bushfires in October are nothing new (TIP: Research). Australia has as much chance of stopping earthquakes with a shaking tax as it does with making an impact on global climate with a  tax on the air we breath out.

Environmentalists have lobbied successfully for fuel reduction backburning, a necessary condition for regeneration of the Aussie bush, and now we see the effetcs. Research and Balance Time, gives impartial and informative information and may actually encourage 'mugs'like me to dip into my skyrocket and break a lobster.

Scottcr
Scottcr

Someone is bucking for a spot on today tonight

GaryDuffy
GaryDuffy

Australia is full of Eucalyptus trees and Eucalyptus produce oil, this oil is very flammable  and when it is leaf litter on the ground it is extremely flammable, Over the last few decades since the Greenies or environmentalists have made it imposable to do back burning and cleaning out of the Australian Bush like the indigenous people have done for the past 40,000 years. It is a shallow argument to link one bush fire which was lit by 5 people who have been charged and been to court and an Army Exercise firing off ammunition which set off the main fire.  Australia's biggest recorded  fires were in the 1800's long before there were cars and long before there was electricity. In fact one of the biggest fires was just 10 years after Edison built his first power station in the US and in this fire 60 people were killed and when you look at the population of 26 million today compared a couple of hundred thousand then and that it burnt out 1.3 million Ha's , or something like the whole of England the fires today are quiet small. Why is the Al Gore group trying to  link this is it because they are getting less and less believers in Man Made Climate Change?  The Author of this article is very very IQ light and shows a total lack of knowledge of Australia. Remember the huge California fires 20 years ago?  This was from people importing and planting Australian Eucalyptus trees. In Australia "Fire as ecological process,We need to accept fire for what it is – an ecological process that determines the composition of our flora and fauna. Fire is as natural as the sun and the rain.Nothing else can replace it completely." http://www.csiro.au/Organisation-Structure/Divisions/Ecosystem-Sciences/BushfireInAustralia.aspx

foxy44
foxy44

What a bunch of w**kers

They missed the most important detail on how the fires spread

As the polar bears walk through the burnt areas, the embers get caught in the hair between their toes, and that spreads the fire.

They Koalas carry a little gum tree branch and they use that to beat the fires out

AnthonyEgan
AnthonyEgan

Just shows what a fine University education buys you these days, reporters who print uninformed rubbish like this and GREENS who think they are the saviors of the world, I think we will get along just fine without either,

AndyLai
AndyLai

this author is a f**ing d**khead ! !

Aussie24
Aussie24

Fellow Australians we need not waste our precious time commenting on this ridiculous article. These people are beyond help. I laughed so hard I fell off my Kangaroo and in the process burnt the shrimp I had on the barbie. I'll be sending you the bill TIME.

boots
boots

considering Time journalists doesn't even know where NSW is, maybe they should stop acting all high and mighty.


1. These fires were deliberately lit by some idiots in some cases and is the result of stupidity by the Defense department in some cases.


2. The Australian ecosystem actually NEEDS the fires. 


3. As others have mentioned if the idiots GREENS hadn't stopped people from backburning, none of this would've caused any damage to people's homes. That's right, it was the bloody GREENS who stopped the backburning activities.


And finally, "progressive Labor Party" really? Do you even know what Labor has done to this country?

GerardB
GerardB

With respect to your article (of faith?), the recent bush fires occurred in October because they were started by teenage arsonists and, the major one near Lithgow on the west side of the Blue Mountains, by accident during a military exercise by the Australian Army. But for the conduct of teenage arsonists, who are currently before the court, and the army there may not have been a bush fire. Bush fires have occurred in Australia in October in the past, bush fires in October is not a new phenomenon.

Bush fires have been part of the Australian landscape for eons. The Aborigines, in their culture recognized this phenomenon and evolved the art of bush burning to protect fauna and flora. Some Eucalyptus tree species, unique to Australia, require intense heat for their seeds to germinate. All eucalyptus trees have highly flammable gum which explodes and intensifies the heat of a bush fire and allows future germination to occur. This makes bush fire control in Australia difficult and hazardous.

Another cause of bush fire intensity is the increase in fuel load from fallen trees and vegetation on the forest floor. Unless this fuel load is back-burnt in the autumn-winter months, the intensity of the bush fire increases. Effective back burning is made all the more difficult by environmental protestors and members of the Greens Party who use their political power to prevent it. The refusal of local and Greens politicians to allow people to land care and protect their properties was the prime cause of the so-called Black Friday bush fires in Victoria (Australia) in 2009 which caused about 179 deaths. Fortunately only one death occurred during the recent New South Wales bush fires, which is due to the brave and great work by our fire fighters and emergency services. One of the fire fighters attending was Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia, his comment that the UN's Christiana Figueres was talking through a hole in her head was spot on.

Climate change, a naturally occurring phenomenon, had nothing to do with the cause and/or intensity of the bush fires. The actions of arsonists and the Australian Army did. Rather than blame climate change, Green politicians, local environmentalists and journalists like yourself should examine their own actions and their refusal to allow local communities to protect their properties from bush fires.


Avatar2000
Avatar2000

Many of these fires were deliberately lit. I am not sure how climate change made those people light them, but I am sure Time will enlighten us all. The *ferocity* of the fires was contributed to, in a large part, by the Greens party, whose vocal minority uses fear and misinformation to scare governments into reducing fuel reduction programs - including very important fuel reduction burns - a practice even the indigenous caretakers of this country used to help keep the forests in balance. SO I guess you could say that Climate change did have an effect on this fire - in that the FEAR of CLIMATE CHANGE caused governments to not act in sensible ways to reduce risk.

Many Australian native plants RELY on bushfires to reproduce. Its an essential part of the Australian ecosystem.

Aussie24
Aussie24

Wow. What sort of an idiot would blame these fires on climate change. Obviously the same idiot who stated NSW is located in South Western Australia. Although climate change is a real issue, it was not the cause of these fires. These fires were deliberately lit. To somehow insinuate that these fires were caused by climate change is utterly proposterous. And yes- fires are a part of the Australian life. Anyone from Aus would agree. Dense bush and undergrowth is a recipe for disaster on a hot day. Anyone who lives in the bush in regional Australia is well aware of the risks and dangers. I am speechless at the stupidity of this article.

Blindfreddie
Blindfreddie

Bryan, just a point that everybody seems to be missing is the fact that our winters are warmer now. This has several outcomes in regards to bush fires. One is the natural bush growth is not halted or burnt off with frosts etc the other is continual growth of the bush during winter meaning high fuel loads are present now long before they used to be. These are factors that add to the scenario like the one currently happening in NSW.

daridekas
daridekas

it seems that it takes time for the prime minister to understand the truth about the climate change.i hope he will before all his country has been destroyed.

admin2:invetrics 

VinePsychic
VinePsychic

@DuaneFerguson if Australia's weather was the same as the aboriginal people historically experienced your argument might have come credibility. 

What we now know, is the Australian seasons are altering dramatically and therefore the Winters are becoming warmer, the Spring weather is like our normal Summer and the Summer Weather is off the radar. 

What you also failed to take into consideration was the winds that picked up the embers of the NSW fires blew them miles away from the locations of the fire and started new bush fires. Therefore vegetation management is of little consequence when the Seasons are altering dramatically. You have a small window of opportunity to burn vegetation that could regrow and burn again a short time later if the embers land in the same location.

Sometimes intellects need to take a step back and remember the population numbers before they refer to historical data as a way of interpreting the best way to tackle climate change now. 


janer
janer

@DuaneFerguson You're verblling the Greens. They have never been against vegetation management. Don't know where that idea has come from.

drudown
drudown

@DuaneFerguson 

Sure, right- the subsistence patterns of Aboriginal farmers is probative of what exactly when determining the proper course of action for Australia (e.g., massive desalination and irrigation systems to combat desertification)?

PR lackeys claiming Science is false is tiresome. 

LeslieGraham
LeslieGraham

@MP412C 

What ignorance. It doesn't make any difference if the fire was *started* by lightning or a fire-breathing dragon. It's the result that is different this time. Are you seriously arging thatthe increase in average temperatures in Australia isn't going to lead to more fires? Are you retarded?

This is the biggest October bush-fire in our history. And if you had bothered to read the Green Party policy statements they are callling for MORE backburning not less but the government has cut funding.

LeslieGraham
LeslieGraham

@use_reason 

Hey - chill out dude. Just because all the experts, 50 years of science and all the events of the last couple of decades have proved you wrong a hundred times over there is no reason to get hysterical.

Peter_of_Mt_Eliza
Peter_of_Mt_Eliza

@boots Totally spot on boots.  Successively reducing the back burning and fuel reduction programs, limitation of mountain cattlemen using the high country for grazing, locking up large tracts as 'conservation areas', destroying existing fire tracks ...

The list goes on, and these ignorant fools want to blame a non-existent effect of the stuff we breathe out 40 - 50 times a minute.

drudown
drudown

@GerardB 

Right, sure.

It's only the hottest and driest year on record. Let's just forget the FACT industrial activities left unregulated lead to trillions in losses. For the life of me, it boggles the mind as to how absurd the notion is that "nothing can be done" or "it costs too much to try anything" when the same CBO forecasts the prohibitive costs of DOING NOTHING.

boots
boots

@Blindfreddie winter seems warmer now? I don't know where the hell you've been living, but I've lived in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne (due to my work, I have to travel a lot). And my anedoctal evidence is completely different from your anecdotal evidence. Winter in all 3 cities have been getting colder and wetter as the years go by.

GaryDuffy
GaryDuffy

@daridekasHa ha ha ha you are very funny or very dumb.  Fires are not Climate Change Lets Quote the CSIRO, Which is the Peak boby with all things environmental and to do with Science and is a Government funded body that also happens to own the patent on BlueTooth..In Australia "Fire as ecological process,We need to accept fire for what it is – an ecological process that determines the composition of our flora and fauna. Fire is as natural as the sun and the rain.Nothing else can replace it completely." (By the way, these fires were started by arsonists and by an Army Exercise gone wrong. The Australian Bush is also full of Eucalyptus trees which are full of FLAMMABLE OIL> Why are the Blue Mountains called thus? Because it is an oil haze from the Eucalyptus trees... Time a lot of people actually went back to school and learn't something  http://www.csiro.au/Organisation-Structure/Divisions/Ecosystem-Sciences/BushfireInAustralia.aspx



IanBiner
IanBiner

@LeslieGraham @MP412C 

No.  It isn't "the biggest October bush-fire in our history".
The October fires in 1928, 1948 and 1951 were bigger than this.

Sadly, there's no correlation between media coverage and size of fire.  And this fire had the biggest, most hyperbolic media coverage in our history.

use_reason
use_reason

@LeslieGraham @use_reason hahaha Lolz nd Jks Leslie, the last 50 years of what you call science has predicted armageddon by ice-age, famine, warming, disease, Y2K bugs etc etc.  The events of the last few decades have proved me wrong? How about the latest IPCC report stating that there has been 'F'-all warming for the last 16 years? These are your prophets making these claims and yet you, the faithful, reject them? Me hysterical? Im not the henny penny claiming the sky is falling, nor am I the boy who cried wolf, Im the guy on the corner that says "hey would you look at that, the Emperor is nude". hugs and kisses Leslie xxxxx


GaryDuffy
GaryDuffy

Note the Words  "natural tendency" in the article  Not Climate Change...In October 1887, before large groves of eucalyptus were planted 8,300 acres of primarily grass were burned in the Chabot area. In 1897, near Berkeley, 7,000 acres burned. Eucalyptus groves were planted in the first decade of the twentieth century. In September 1923 a fire destroyed 640 homes in Berkeley. Thirty-six homes and 250 acres were burned in September1973. One would have to conclude that there seems to be a "natural tendency" for this area to generate fire from some sort of dried vegetation.352 http://wwwlibrary.csustan.edu/bsantos/section3.htm

drudown
drudown

@GaryDuffy 

Or, the State can dispassionately accept the SCIENTIFIC FACT that Climate Change desertification has exacerbated the drought conditions (i.e., it is the hottest and driest year in recorded history) and take proactive measures with the EU, US, Russia and NZ to prevent such devastation. 

Blindfreddie
Blindfreddie

@boots  sorry Boots if disagree, but I've worked for 16 years in the rural water industry in Victoria and the winters are recording higher mean temperatures and less frosts. The amount of snow in our catchments is now almost not factored into filling our storage's anymore as there just isn't enough in the areas that matter to us as it did years ago. I did not mention rainfall because we have been getting more intense rain events and more severe flooding as a result. The wet conditions only add to the undergrowth continuing to grow when normally it's dormant. More and more dairy farmers now do not dry off there stock in winter but continue to to produce milk because they can grow enough grass to sustain a herd in the winter months. This is something that virtually never happened as little as 15 years ago. As for how cold you feel in the cities, I guess standing on concrete during the cooler months always chills one to the bone. Cheers.

Ex-Farmer
Ex-Farmer

@drudown Oh what the heck, you've caught me out.  I'm actually a PR guy representing large oil and coal companies, and I  trawl my way around the internet looking to put the company line on climate change. Not that it really matters much, as more oil,gas and coal is used today than 10 years ago, and oil,gas and coal companies could almost make as much money from carbon credit schemes as from oil production in the near future. Oil and coal companies pay heaps to the IPCC to keep it all going until we are able to control and corner all the carbon credit schemes around the world. Someone stuffed up in Australia because no-one payed off the new in-coming govt, so  they are scrapping that nations ETS. So there, you are right and I am a low life who sold my soul for money. If I were you I would start spreading the news around about the true reason the IPCC exists, it's not what most people think it is.

drudown
drudown

@Ex-Farmer @drudown 

Rant? 

Citing the UN Report that DISPROVES your gibberish is a rant, eh.

There is no need to "cite conspiracies" when it comes to financial bias. People "lie" to protect profits. Or do you expect me to believe you are really an "ex-farmer" aw gee shucks just shilling for Big Oil. 

lol

Ex-Farmer
Ex-Farmer

@drudown Your rant is bizarre at best and utter ignorance at worst. I can tell you are not from Australia, as you would know the CSIRO is a GOVERNMENT funded organisation that supports the notion of man made climate change, however when it comes to increased bush fire risk in Australia it makes no link to climate change but rather poor management and planning. People like yourself perpetuating "big oil" conspiracy theories do your cause no good. This argument you won't win. When you have had to fight as many fires as I have, come back and talk to me.

drudown
drudown

@Ex-Farmer @LeslieGraham @IanBiner @MP412C 

Sure, "Ex-Farmer"- keep citing your "Exxon Mobil reports" as if, in the end, the SCIENTIFIC FACT it is the HOTTEST AND DRIEST YEAR IN AUSTRALIAN HISTORY is not more probative evidence that Global Warming is real. 

You are a con man, plain and simple. 

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/27/world/climate-change-5-things/ 

It is proven Science. 

Ex-Farmer
Ex-Farmer

@LeslieGraham @IanBiner @MP412CLeslie YOUR denial is hysterical. Please read the CSIRO report updated only last year, http://www.csiro.au/en/Organisation-Structure/Divisions/Ecosystem-Sciences/BushfireInAustralia.aspx. This deliberate ignoring of the peak science body of Australia is becoming tiresome, especially as you would no doubt be quite happy to quote the CSIRO on AGW which it supports the theory, however, on bushfires linked with man made climate change, the CSIRO and for that matter every other bushfire expert in the land do not make the link. 

You may make many claims about climate change, but on this you are wrong. If you are able to post a link  or offer a reference from a reputable body of science (not unqualified activists), that proves the CSIRO wrong, please do so. I might add that the above link has been posted more than once in these comments, and clearly you have not read the report. I suggest you and others of your ilk read it, then post your comments.

LeslieGraham
LeslieGraham

@IanBiner @LeslieGraham @MP412C 

Nope - you are refering to one fire - there are currently over 100 fires raging.

I should maybe have said This IS the biggest bush-fire 'event' in our history.

The 28 48 and 51 fire event weren't even close - did you get that info from Tony Abbott.

And this follows the hottest year in Australias history - oh and the hottest September in Australias history - with record hot ocean temperatures too. Just a fantastic coincidence in denierworld of course.

LOL

Now that climate change is simply obvious the denial has become hysterical.

drudown
drudown

@Ex-Farmer @drudown 

You'll bite?

Give up your schtick. Your "assent" is irrelevant to the truth of the matter asserted.

Either environmentally disastrous "fracking" in Australia is going to help or harm the State and citizens. 

I implore all readers to watch the documentary "Gas Land" to hold the cost/benefit face to face.

Ex-Farmer
Ex-Farmer

@drudown OK I'll bite. Are you saying we won't have enough water to put out fires? And are you implying I am getting some financial benefit by stating the bleeding obvious of poor management of Australian bushland.

drudown
drudown

@Ex-Farmer @drudown 

How predictably non-responsive. 

Just fleshing out your financial bias underlying your positions. 

As for "fracking" not being "relevant" to bush fires….why on EARTH would the State situated on the DRIEST continent engage in "fracking" given the inordinate use of fresh water to do it and foreseeable contamination to existing water tables that it engenders? 

Duh.

Ex-Farmer
Ex-Farmer

@drudown What has fracking got to do with bushfires - are you on drugs or something? Seriously, you need help mate!

drudown
drudown

@Ex-Farmer @drudown 

Sure, pal.

Why don't you watch 'Gas Land' and then argue "fracking is safe"?

Ex-Farmer
Ex-Farmer

@drudownYour claim of desertification is wrong, read this link http://www.thegwpf.org/rising-co2-level-greening-planet-earth-study/. Also read this link http://www.csiro.au/en/Organisation-Structure/Divisions/Ecosystem-Sciences/BushfireInAustralia.aspx.

I will remind you that the CSIRO are the peak scientific body in Australia. They also advocate a AGW scenario, however since global warming has paused for the past 15 years, CO2 caused warming is now seriously under doubt (despite the IPCC prognostications). There are no serious experts in Australia blaming bushfires on AGW, since research shows that fire in Australia has actually decreased since European Settlement.

It is amazing what can be found by doing some simple research.

IanBiner
IanBiner

@drudown 

Where do you get the idea that "it is the hottest and driest year in recorded history"?

Was this one of the Greenpeace press releases the IPCC based its climate report on?  (Yes, hard to believe, I know, but don't take my word for it... check the facts for yourself.)

I'm sorry... I don't mean to pick on you.  I'm sure you believe what they've told you with every fibre of your being and I applaud your passion.  Sadly though, much of it just isn't true, and writing 'SCIENTIFIC FACT' in capital letters will not help make the claims either scientific or factual.

use_reason
use_reason

@Blindfreddie @boots You make a number of very interesting claims. 1st Rain events and flooding are part of global warming even though the Prophets of Doom forecast that drought and lack of rain would turn our cities into dustbowls (eg Flannery, 2007). 2nd Plants grow more enthusiastically due to these conditions? Surely then this is a forest management issue that has seen Green influence impacting on fuel reductions resulting in these firestorm conditions.

A tax on CO2 will not reduce regional NSW propensity for bushfire. Perhaps the fresh country air, unpolluted by the foul toxins emitted by cold city folk and responsible for GLOBAL warming, has impaired your ability to reason. Faith in your paradigm and certainty in your biased world view blinds you to alternate reason.