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Climate Change “Absolutely” Linked To Bushfires, Says Top UN Official

Bushfire smoke over Sydney

The head Climate Change official at the United Nations, Christiana Figueres, when asked in an interview with CNN this week if there is a link between climate change and wildfires said, “Yes, absolutely there is”.

Figueres, who is the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), went on to explain that “The World Meteorological Organization has not established the 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 these will continue; that they will continue in their intensity and in their frequency.”

Although the new, right wing Australian government led by Tony Abbott has promised to scrap the previous government’s carbon tax initiative, and has axed Australia’s independent climate commission (which was almost immediately relaunched with crowdfunding support under a new name), Frigueres is careful not to criticize the new Australian government too heavily. She says the the Abbott government “has not stepped away from its existing international commitment on climate change. However, they are changing they way they say they are going meet that commitment”. The U.N. thinks that Australia is “going to have to pay a very high political price, and a very high financial price, because the route they are choosing to get to the same target that the previous government had, could be much more expensive for them, and for the population”.

Figueres points out that we are already starting to pay the price of carbon. “We are paying the price with wildfires. We are paying the price with droughts. We are paying the price with so many other disturbances to the hydrological cycle”.

In response to Christiana Figueres’ comments about the link between bushfires and climate change, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said today in a 3AW radio interview that, “I think the official in question is talking through her hat”. Ignoring any increases in intensity and frequency of heat waves and forest fires around the world, Abbott pointed out the long history of devastating Australian bushfires, adding that “Fire is part of the Australian experience. It has been since humans were on this continent”. However, he did also say that, “Climate change is real, as I’ve often said, and we should take strong action against it, but these fires are certainly not a function of climate change. They are just a function of life in Australia”.

Image CC licensed by Sydneyn Malmelinit: Bushfire smoke over Sydney, October 17, 2013
Via CNN, ABC


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Anonymous

    The problem with all the bush fire is not the climate but the arsonists that light the fires .
    The climate is perfect , last winter we had very good rainfalls , and the rain didn’t just contributed to the bush fire fuel, it also filled up all the water storages dams, the rivers are full and flowing freely to the sea, , there was also plenty of water to grow the food that we all grow and eat, The farmers have build up qll their live stocks again which the drought had depleted, and nature itself is flurishing . There are too many people these days who are paranoid about the climate, if it rains it’s climate change, if it doesn’t rain it’s climate change.
    one of my hobbies is gardennig, and everything i plant just goes through the roof.The problem with scientists and all of the climate change alarmist is that they all depend on the supermarkets to feed them. and they don’t realise that all the food we buy it is only available on the supermarket shelves, and at an affordable price is simply because of the warmer tempretures and the rain. But all the climate change alarmists can think of is the bush fire fuel that the arsonists are always lighting up. So stop blamming the climate for the fires, the only reason that the bush fires are more common these days have nothing to do with climate change, but the real reason is that the number of arsonists are getting bigger and bigger each year. And as long as stupid climate chang alarmists, keep blaming the climate for the bush fires, all of the arsonists are getting off scott free. It got me beat ,How on earth are the authorities going to stop the climate from changing ,if they can’t even stop the arsonists from lighting the fires in the first place?
    Maybe the climate change alarmists should invent some kind of a devise like a thermostat maybe so they can control the climate to suite them ,just like the thermostats that controll our air coditionning systems. Because a carbon tax is not going to help, and why should it ?.the climate is fine as it is already. Take up gardenning for a hobby and you’ll see what i mean and also look how beutifull everything is growing in nature and on the farms. The problem is not the climate but the people namley the arsonists. and those that build their dwelling in the bush to be closer to nature.

  • http://www.the9billion.com/ John Johnston

    Thanks for taking the time to write a detailed comment, but I think most people would rather rely on the findings of many expert climate scientists from around the world, than on anecdotal local observations such as this. I’m not going to argue your points, because I can see that you’re not going to be convinced by facts, except to say that scientists are now as confident that humans are causing climate change as they are that smoking causes cancer. And the increased intensity and frequency of bushfires around the world, not only in Australia, is part of that.
    http://www.the9billion.com/2013/09/29/extemely-likely-climate-change-is-caused-by-humans-ipcc/

  • Anonymous

    I understand that each individual only believes what suites them to believe , and once they lock in what they believe is what they believe whether it’s right, or wrong ,And once they lock in that believe they can’t think outside the sqaure any longer and the real facts becomes illusions and are totally ignored .
    Scientist cannot be thrusted with what they tell us, they are not God, as they think they are.
    Last night on the ABC Catalist 2 part documentry ,a huge scientific myth that was thought as fact for many decades was reaveld. for many decades science bombarded us with the myth that High calastrols, and saturated fats, were very bad for our health and that both products they kept being telling us repeteadly for many decades where very bad for our health , But all that turned out to be wrong . This so called sientific fact turned out to be a massieve myth, and the real facts turned out to be the opposite instead, The New studdies now have proved that High calastrol and saturated fats are very good for us, and people who ignored the scientific myth that high calastorls and saurated fats where un-healthy, lived much longer than the once that believed the previous scienctific myth. Part two continues next thursday at 8 Oclock PM.
    Global warmming caused by humans will also be proven to be a huge scientific myth in years to come . just like High calastrolls and saturated fats has now been proved to be a myth.
    What you call scientific facts, with respect i totally disagree with you ,because in the global warmming studies they don’t include Bush fires beecause they count bush fires as natrual events. and what they consider as natrual events are not included in the global warmming studdies, and bush fires world wide are the cause of two thirds of C02 pollution. other elements that are not included in the studies because they are natrual causes includes volcanic erruptions, and solar activities.
    Disasterouse wild fires are nothing new .Back in the 1930 a massieve wild fire devasted the state of victoria, That event is recorded in history as black wedensday. Back then there was no paranoia about climate change, and there was no problem of any arsonists lighting fires like there is today.
    Remember the prophesies of Tim Flannery whene the drought was on.? He prophesied that Queensland and NSW will run out of water by 2005, That we will never see normal rainfalls ever again , and that govenments should buld desalination plants instead of water storage dams because our storages dams will neve be full again, what a lot of rubbish that turned out to be