On Friday, Jan. 17, the opinion column of the Shuswap Market News referred to “climate change” using the Australian bushfires of 2019-20 as an example.
Although scientific data indicates an increase of one degree over the last century, using the connection to the recent bushfires is a bit far-fetched and an example of public manipulation through misinformation.
The reasoning could be for worldwide financial compensation or maybe the location of the recent fires are close to tourist centres. This might be the only year where the toll on wildlife is being documented.
The intent of this letter is not to express a point of view, but to inform the public of the following historical data:
Acres burnt per year: 1968-69, Kilarney only, 99 million acres; 1969-70, North Territory only, 110 million acres; 1974-75, nationwide, 290 million acres; 2019-20, nationwide, 46 million acres.
Human fatalities: since 1851, 800 deaths; 1925-26, 60 deaths; 1938-39, 71 deaths; 2009-10, 173 deaths; 2019-20, 28 deaths.
Note that the devastating 2019-20 fire season is not over and the numbers will rise. Number of homes lost and possible wildlife losses are at the highest. However, the data shows that this year the acreage burned is not even close to the past.