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.