Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler weighed in on speculation from environmentalists that climate change is the primary reason why Australia is beset with wildfires.
“I don’t think the fires from Australia are directly from climate change. I don’t think most rational people are saying that, either,” he told Fox News’s Brian Kilmeade Friday. Wheeler’s comments came a day after he rolled back one of former President Barack Obama’s rules.
“On the far left .. and the environmental groups, like to point to every little item that happens and say ‘this is because of climate change,'” Wheeler said before adding, “That’s not what the scientists say.”
The most that scientists can say is that “we may be getting a little more rainfall,” but hurricanes are not getting worse, he said. (RELATED: Australian Police Charge At Least 20 People For Intentionally Setting Bushfires, Activists Blame Climate Change)
Many media pundits blamed climate change for super-stoking Australia’s wildfires. The Washington Post’s editorial board, for instance, told its readers that Australia’s wildfires should be a warning to the rest of the world and to those who are skeptical of climate change.
“This is the future humanity is writing for itself, right now, every day world governments waste failing to respond to climate change,” the editorial board noted Jan. 6 before hedging to remind readers that there are probably other factors involved.
A total of 183 people are facing legal action so far, according to the New South Wales government. Of the 183, 24 people have been charged with starting bushfires, another 53 people allegedly failed to comply with a total fire ban, and 47 people allegedly discarded cigarettes on dry land.
Wheeler also addressed former Vice President Al Gore’s suggestion in Davos, Switzerland Thursday that climate change is akin to the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
“I’m going to have to disagree with the former vice president. He’s had a history of overstating on the climate change issue,” Wheeler said.
Gore claimed in 2006 that a “true planetary emergency” would happen within a decade if drastic actions was not taken.
Gore’s first film “An Inconvenient Truth” effectively popularized the global warming debate, and ultimately emboldened environmentalists.
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