"Why Tony Abbott's plan means more bushfires for Australia & more pics like this of Sydney ... "
I've seen several people arguing that bushfires in September and October aren't unusual.
For example, helen stream, a commenter at The Conversation, quoted some information, which she said was drawn from contemporary media, showing 14 cases of bushfires in September and October in NSW (full quote at the end of this post). I've seen those figures quoted elsewhere and heard that similar figures were used in News Limited media (although I haven't seen them because I don't usually read those media).
At first I thought well, that's interesting, it must be more common to have bushfires at this time of year than I'd thought (which is presumably what the commenter wanted people to think). Then later, after reading that Environment Minister Greg Hunt draws his information on bushfires from Wikipedia, I checked out Wikipedia also.
To cut this long story short, I went back and looked again at Ms stream's figures after reading Wikipedia, and noticed the following pattern:
Decade Bushfires in September or October in NSW (according to helen stream's figures)
On the face of it, that looks very much like bushfires in Spring in NSW are increasing very rapidly, exactly in line with what one would expect with climate change.
Now I certainly would not put too much faith in Ms stream's figures, because they are clearly politically motivated (even if they show the opposite of what she wants them to). But it would certainly be interesting if any researchers had the time to follow this up, or have already looked at these figures?
It's also equally interesting that climate change opponents are apparently so desperate that they will use figures that actually undermine their case.
I haven't seen anyone else pointing this out yet, so I thought I'd publish it here for information and comment.
I'd suggest that conservative politicians should take a good look at the figures that are being used to (supposedly) support their case that there's no link between climate change and bushfires!
Comments and further information are welcome as ever.
From helen stream, commenter at The Conversation, 22 October 2013: