Fact Check: Pete Buttigieg Claims Climate Change Caused Australia Fires

CNN

Mayor Pete Buttigieg claimed during the Democrat debate on Tuesday hosted by CNN that the massive bushfires in Australia were started by global warming.

“In Australia, there are literally tornados made of fire taking place,” Pete Buttigieg said when asked about climate change. “This is no longer theoretical.”

But since the beginning of 2019, Australian law enforcement has arrested more than 180 people for arson, some in connection with the nation’s raging bushfires, as Breitbart News has chronicled.

In New South Wales, 29 blazes were deliberately set in the Shoalhaven region in just three months.

Since November 8, twenty-four Australians were arrested in New South Wales alone for setting fires intentionally, with another 184 charged or cautioned for bushfire-related offenses—all as the record blazes sweep the country.

The rate of deliberately lit fires reportedly escalated during the Australian school holidays.

Police in five Australian states have begun investigations into the alleged arsonists arrested for fueling the fires.

Pressure from environmental groups have also prevented landowners from clearing out a glut of dry vegetation in the region.

Bushfire scientist David Packham warned in 2015 that the forest fuel levels had reached the worst in 30 years as a result of “misguided green ideology” warning of a repeat of the Black Saturday bushfires in the Australia state of Victoria in 2009.

UPDATE:  This story has been amended to reflect new information about arson as reported by the Australian.

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