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2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2

Posted on 11 January 2020 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020

Editor's Pick

Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media

Bushfire in Australia 

As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ravaged a drought-ridden Australia, bots and trolls have begun pushing climate science denial across the internet in the form of conspiracy theories about the fires. Thanks to climate change, exceptionally hot, dry drought conditions have worsened and lengthened Australia's typical fire season.

Two of the main conspiracies about the fires are based on the false ideas that they are caused by a spate of arson and they have been worsened by the Green Party's supposed efforts to stop controlled burns as a fire management and reduction measure.

Dr. Timothy Graham from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) did an analysis  of the online activity and concluded there was a high level of bots involved in spreading these conspiracies. As ZDnet reported, Graham is “at least confident” that that this was some type of disinformation campaign.

Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media by Justin Mikulka, DeSmog, Jan 8, 2020

Click here to access the complete article as posted on the DeSmog website. 

Articles Linked to on Facebook

Sun, Jan 5, 2020

Mon, Jan 6, 2020

Tue, Jan 7, 2020

Wed, Jan 8, 2020

Thu, Jan 9, 2020

Fri, Jan 10, 2020

Sat, Jan 11, 2020

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Comments 1 to 7:

  1. Sadly this attempt to close the lid on this arson lunacy is more in itself a denial than an argument. I have no material to confront my skeptics friends with numbers and proofs of bushfires policies and actions. 

    A link with australian official number about firebreaks and bushfires preventive activities would be sufficient to prove skeptics wrong. The case is simple, if there is no reduction or an increase in preventive activities the debate is won. 

    If there is a decrease there is a case for more discussion on the causes. The article i read and its links simply push aside any skeptic's claim instead of attempting to debunk. Like always it will increase even more theirs feeling of confidence that we live in a bubble.

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  2. One can explain to skeptics that, even if every single one of the fires was caused by arson, the years of drought and current record-high air temperatures have created conditions where the arsonists' fires generate far more damage than would have been the case with normal rainfall and normal temperatures. 

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  3. Nick Stokes posted data and sources about Australian arson.

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  4. See also Hotwhopper about Australian arson.

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  5. Also see:

    Australia's indigenous people have a solution for the country's bushfires. And it's been around for 50,000 years by Leah Asmelash, CNN, Jan 12, 2020

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  6. Some time ago I read an article on Australian weather history as determined by examining the yearly rings of Calcium carbonate in stalictites and stalicmites.  They suggested that Australia experiences a 200 year cycle between 'wet' and dry periods and said that Aus is now going into a dry period.  Perhaps this exacerbating the overall effects of climate change.  If the last two hundred years was a wet period, what must a dry period be like.

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  7. Just want to make a general comment related to Mathiew #1. The way the climate denialists work is they try to goad warmists into making exaggerated claims and mistakes, then they can say "look you got that wrong", and by implication you are wrong about everything. Dont fall for it. For example some people have claimed none of these fires are caused by arson, when commonsense should tell them a few probably are.

    Better to concede a few are caused by arson, but it remains unconfirmed, and mention accidents, and lightening strikes as well in more isolated areas, and that global warming leads to a longer fire season and larger areas being burned.

    Ask the denilaists a simple question. How would a hotter climate not make bushfires worse?

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