Monday, October 28, 2013

Blog 8: Climate change linked to brushfire risk

Summary: Australia’s newly elected prime minister, Tony Abbott, is bashing all accounts of evidence that global warming is causing more frequent and intense brushfires. The environment minister, Greg Hunt, stated that there is no single event that can be linked to the rising global temperatures but on the departments own website, the collection of information contradicts his statement. The government website says that the greater the amount of climate change, the more natural disasters will occur. Also in the document, the author admits that it is difficult to isolate one single incident that global warming has caused but when viewing the long term data, the evidence is clear. “Impacts of climate change will mostly be felt through extreme events.” The independent body, the Climate Commission, that announced that link between brushfires and global warming was once a part of the government but after being shut down began receiving private funding.

Analysis: All evidence points to the fact that high carbon emissions leads to the drying and warming of the south eastern regions of Australia which inevitably leads to a high frequency and more intense brushfires. Prime Minister Abbott has no firm proof in saying the two issues aren’t related. His repeated remarks about climate change not existing has been drawing attention since before he was elected. Sooner or later, his voters will see the gap in his credibility, as well as lose trust in his environment minister. Ignoring the concerns on global warming isn’t the way to avoid its disastrous outcomes. Many Australians have been hurt by the extreme brushfires and if the government refuses to step up and admit that there is real problem then they will continue to suffer. Without government regulation, the major polluters have no incentive to cut down the amount of dangerous emissions. Despite the local efforts at being greener or more efficient, the bulk of the obstacle remains on the corporations. Only the government can truly enforce change. In the case of government under Tony Abbott, change will not occur anytime soon, ensuring an increase in brushfires.

Addie McKay
4:40 pm

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