Prominent climate alarmist Michael Mann appeared on a March 29 CleanTechnica podcast spreading misinformation about Australia’s 2019 wildfires and climate change.

Mann claimed Australia has never experienced bushfires comparable to what the country recently experienced, saying “it’s the largest bushfire, most extensive bushfire in the history of this continent.” Yet, Mann provided no evidentiary support for his statement.

Geologist Gregory Wright explained in a recent podcast that drought and large wildfires have been common throughout Australia’s history, as evidenced by discussions of wildfires being passed down in the oral history of Australia’s aboriginal peoples, and being recorded by the first European explorers of the island continent.

Meteorologist Joe Bastardi has documented that the number and severity of wildfires have declined significantly in recent years as Australia has experienced more plentiful rainfall. Once a drought finally occurred again, the lush growth, combined with recent polices restricting logging and even the clearing of brush, provided plenty of fuel for wildfires. Mann ignored these facts.

Mann claimed parallels between the wildfires in Australia and wildfires in California. In this case, he is correct. Neither Australia nor California have experienced a significant increase in drought. But importantly, environmental laws have inhibited the clearing of brush and removal of timber in both places. Under such conditions, when cyclical droughts occur, fires have more available fuel and become more severe.

As documented by Climate at a Glance: Drought, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data show, “[t]he United States is undergoing its longest period in recorded history with fewer than 40 percent of the country experiencing ‘very dry’ conditions.” Also, Climate at a Glance: Drought documents that the IPCC reports “low confidence” that any negative drought trends are occurring globally.

Climate change is not increasing the frequency or severity of Australian wildfires. Alarmists like Michael Mann should stop spreading misinformation that denies scientific facts and even the United Nations IPCC.

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is managing editor of Environment & Climate News and a research fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute. Burnett worked at the National Center for Policy Analysis for 18 years, most recently as a senior fellow in charge of NCPA’s environmental policy program. He has held various positions in professional and public policy organizations, including serving as a member of the Environment and Natural Resources Task Force in the Texas Comptroller’s e-Texas commission.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Excellent article. Aside from the total lack of integrity amongst these climate alarmist…is the narrative has become a broken record and easily doused with irrefutable facts!

  2. Keep up the good work. As an Australian who travels remotely here and knows local fire fighters it is frustrating to hear so called experts telling misinformation and blatant lies about the cause of the recent fires. This is typical of the Australian climate – drought and now flooding rains. Most of the fires started in the untouchable National Parks where the fuel load had been allowed to build up since the last droughts. Access fire roads were locked to prevent bush fire mitigation procedures by ‘green’ local governments. The devastating loss of life and property primarily occurred where the owners were not allowed to remove trees near their houses. Mann should read up on native gum trees too and just like California, they are full of oil and with heat and / lightening often explode. If greenies are serious about our flora and fauna they should apologize for their policies which worsened the ferocity of the fires which then wiped out some species and have added many to the endangered list.

  3. Outside of the drought, there was reported arson. The climate change thing has become too much a religion to some people no different than the military-industrial complex. Here it’s being generated by a lot of enviro orgs who I can appreciated wanting to save species but at the cost of putting us back in the stone age. There are so many technologies out there to get things done-I just say bring it to market.

  4. Nice article Mr Burnett. Just to add some data about how extensive our bushfires have been in the past, in the 1974-75 season, 15% of the entire landmass burnt, compared to just 2.41% of the landmass in the season just passed.

    The following 1995 Year Book review of Australia’s fire ecology from the CSIRO (Before it was captured by the warmists) is highly instructive: https://www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/6C98BB75496A5AD1CA2569DE00267E48

    It is worth noting particularly that almost every early European explorer of this continent reflected upon how sparse our vegetation was – a state it was kept in by annual burning by the natives. Today, the same areas described as open savannas by these explorers are almost invariably dense, impenetrable forest extremely susceptible to fire.

    I will also add that it is most distressing to people with family properties which have burnt in the past (2009), that we have politicians such as the Member for Melbourne Adam Bandt MP who openly claim that people should be forcibly removed from our properties and listed as “climate refugees”. All the while he runs a political party which opposes a number of sensible land management practices to reduce the risk of fire, most notably hazard reduction burning, over the vehement objection of locals.

    Thank you for getting the word out about this.

  5. Michael Mann should have no Credibility left. He’s been caught out on several occasions. Have to wonder what his agenda is.

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