Bolt vs Bandt – pants on fire
Adam Bandt published an op-ed in The Guardian on October 16 linking Tony Abbot’s repudiation of the carbon price to increased climate risks for Australian’s then tweeted it with a link to the current fires in NSW. Andrew Bolt had to tell us how morally bankrupt Bandt is in the HeraldSun today. He cited me:
“Nothing in the records shows global warming has made bushfires bigger or deadlier in NSW – or globally. The US is recording its quietest fire season a decade.
The most telling point against Bandt’s alarmism, of course, is that global temperatures have barely changed for 15 years. Indeed, Canberra last week recorded its coldest October night in history. Like Sydney’s hot spell, it’s called weather, Adam, not climate change.
So Bandt is wrong about the cause of the fire and wrong to pretend these fires are worse. He’s wrong to imply global temperatures have been steadily rising, and wrong to claim Abbott could make the slightest difference.
Just ask Professor Roger Jones, an author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which estimates that even if Abbott kept Labor’s carbon tax policies, Australia would at best cut temperatures by an imperceptible 0.0038 degrees by 2100.
So Bandt is wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong. And a hypocrite as well as a vulture. Oh, and a disgrace.”
I fired off the following to the Hun, but it’s too long for their letters page, so I reproduce it here:
Andrew Bolt castigates Greens MP Adam Bandt for linking the current NSW fires to climate change (21/10), then says “So Bandt is wrong about the cause of the fire and wrong to pretend these fires are worse. He’s wrong to imply global temperatures have been steadily rising, and wrong to claim Abbott could make the slightest difference.” And suggests asking me, because I estimated reducing Australian emissions by 5% to 2020 would reduce global warming by an “imperceptible” 0.0038 degrees Celsius. Taking the politics out of Bandt’s article and looking at the science and risk I can say that Bandt is largely correct – but he said nothing of the cause and nothing about steady temperature rise – these are Bolt’s inventions.
There is a global warming component adding to the severity of these current fires. In Victoria, the fire danger index is more than one-third greater after 1997 than it was before then. This is equivalent to CSIRO and BoM’s projected worse case for 2050. Bolt ignores the fact that I also calculated if Australia’s emissions were reduced by 80% in 2050, warming would be reduced by 0.02 degrees Celsius. Spread across the globe, the value of this benefit would be substantial. Even 0.0038 degrees is worth it. Bolt also claims the 2013 fire season in the US was the quietest in a decade – instead the US fire service has spent the entire $600 million earmarked for fire suppression and emergency, having to dip into other funds, and the Pacific Rim fire was the 6th worst in California’s history.
I think the fire services better keep an eye on Andrew’s pants. They are dangerous and it’s all due to global warming.