Twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Monday wrongly attributed Australia’s devastating bushfires to climate change — an assertion that follows the arrests of 183 people accused of setting bushfires since the start of 2019.
Australia has been ravaged by deadly bushfires in recent weeks, claiming the lives of at least 25 people and millions of animals across the region. Climate change activists have been quick to attribute the devastation to anthropogenic climate change.
“Australia’s bushfire emergency, spurred by climate change, has killed 24 people, destroyed thousands of homes, and led to the loss of an estimated half a billion animals,” Clinton wrote on Monday, providing a donation link:
Australia’s bushfire emergency, spurred by climate change, has killed 24 people, destroyed thousands of homes, and led to the loss of an estimated half a billion animals. Here are ways you can help: https://t.co/0oajjMJwIh
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 6, 2020
However, her assertion — that the fires were “spurred” by climate change — is patently false.
“About 85 percent are related to human activity, 13 percent confirmed arson and 37 percent suspected arson,” Dr. Paul Read, co-director of the National Centre for Research in Bushfire and Arson, explained last year.
“The remainder are usually due to reckless fire lighting or even just children playing with fire,” he continued.
Since November 8, 24 Australians have been arrested for deliberately setting bushfires in New South Wales alone, while 184 people have been charged or cautioned for bushfire-related offenses, according to New South Wales Police Force. As Breitbart News reported:
The story of man-made fires is the same right across the country, as the Australian newspaper reports.
It reports police arrested 183 people nationally for lighting bushfires across Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
Queensland state police say 101 people have been picked up for setting fires in the bush, 32 adults and 69 juveniles.
Despite that, left-wing figures across the globe continue to inaccurately attribute the fires to climate change.
“When one country faces a climate disaster, we all face a climate disaster,” actress Cate Blanchett said at the Golden Globes on Sunday:
'When one country faces a climate disaster, we all face a climate disaster.'
Australian-born Cate Blanchett took to the stage at the #GoldenGlobes to highlight the wildfires fires ravaging her native country and demand action against climate changehttps://t.co/pVuyhgrFDh pic.twitter.com/Bb25YwfQGi
— ITV News (@itvnews) January 6, 2020
“Make no mistake. The tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change-based,” comedian Russell Crowe said in a speech read by actress Jennifer Aniston in his absence.
“2 million acres. 1,400 homes. Entire towns evacuated. At least 23 dead. More than half a billion wild animals… gone,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted.
“Climate change is a GLOBAL crisis that we must all face together,” he added:
12 million acres. 1,400 homes. Entire towns evacuated. At least 23 dead. More than half a billion wild animals… gone.
Climate change is a GLOBAL crisis that we must all face together.
Here are a few ways to help those in Australia. Please share. https://t.co/1fnNqOgY6R
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) January 6, 2020
“Climate change is an existential threat that is affecting everyone, everywhere,” former Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) wrote.
“My thoughts are with the people of Australia as they battle catastrophic wildfires that have already claimed at least 25 lives,” he added:
Climate change is an existential threat that is affecting everyone, everywhere. My thoughts are with the people of Australia as they battle catastrophic wildfires that have already claimed at least 25 lives.
Here are ways you can help. https://t.co/4S8l4uh7KR
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 6, 2020
Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg also falsely attributed the flames to climate change.
“Australia is on fire. And the summer there has only just begun. 2019 was a year of record heat and record drought. Today the temperature outside Sydney was 48.9°C,” she wrote, citing the number of damaged homes and animals lost. Thunberg continued:
The fires have spewed 2/3 of the nations national annual CO2 emissions, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. The smoke has covered glaciers in distant New Zealand (!) making them warm and melt faster because of the albedo effect.
And yet. All of this still has not resulted in any political action. Because we still fail to make the connection between the climate crisis and increased extreme weather events and nature disasters like the #AustraliaFires.
As Breitbart News reported, “there has been no significant long-term decrease in rainfall or increase in temperatures in the affected regions.” The same could be said of temperatures, which have been hotter in years past.
UPDATE: This story has been amended to reflect new information about arson as reported by the Australian.